Ion-Conducting Polymer Improves Solar Cell Performance
byThe Daily Fusion
DSSC panel is tested in the laboratory at the School of Chemical Science and Engineering. (Photo: David Callahan)
Drawing their inspiration from photosynthesis, dye-sensitized solar cells offer the promise of low-cost solar photovoltaics and—when coupled with catalysts—even the possibility of generating hydrogen and oxygen, just like plants. Researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology have found a way to make dye-sensitized solar cells more energy-efficient and longer-lasting.
A research team that included James Gardner, Assistant Professor of Photoelectrochemistry at KTH, reported the success of a new quasi-liquid, polymer-based electrolyte that increases a dye-sensitized solar cell’s voltage and current, and lowers resistance between its electrodes.
The study highlights the advantages of speeding up the movement of oxidized electrolytes in a dye-sensitized solar cell, or DSSC. Also on the team from KTH were Lars Kloo, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and researcher Muthuraaman Bhagavathi Achari.
“We now have clear evidence that by adding the ion-conducting polymer to the solar cell’s cobalt redox electrolyte, the transport of oxidized electrolytes is greatly enhanced,” Gardner says. “The fast transport increases solar cell efficiency by 20 percent.”