Tafline Laylin

Fluorescent Dye Boosts Solar Cell Efficiency by a Whopping 38 Percent

by , 05/09/13

Squaraine dye, solar cells, solar cell efficiency, Yale University solar research, cleantech, solar research and development, solar energy, alternative energy, renewable energy, Förster resonance energy transfer

Yale researchers recently discovered a way to boost the efficiency of solar cells by a whopping 38 percent by coating them with a fluorescent dye. Polymer solar cells are popular for their low cost, low weight, large area and mechanical flexibility, according to Physorg, but they are relatively inefficient at converting solar energy absorbed into usable electricity. The organic squaraine dye improves light absorption and recycles electrons, thereby hastening the light to energy conversion process.

Squaraine dye, solar cells, solar cell efficiency, Yale University solar research, cleantech, solar research and development, solar energy, alternative energy, renewable energy, Förster resonance energy transferAltered image via Shutterstock

The Yale researchers relied on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), a well-known biochemical mechanism, to achieve this radical new energy conversion rate.

“In this type of solar cell—FRET-based heterojunction polymer solar cells—extra energy is able to migrate from one molecule to another over long distances. The dye, which is highly absorbent in the near-infrared region, both broadens the spectral absorption of solar cells and enhances electricity transmission,” Physorg explains.

Lead researcher André D. Taylor, the assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at Yale, told the paper that their approach can be used to improve the efficiency of future solar cell designs. Their research was published in the online journal Nature Photonics.

Via Physorg

Lead image via Fibonacci Sequence

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3 Comments

  1. james chandler May 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    sounds grate!!..UNM Taos student here,peeking at your site..interested in talking some GEO RE ??

  2. anothervoice May 10, 2013 at 8:31 am

    So when are they going to incorporate all the efficiency tweaks we’ve read about these last five years and get us off carbon?

  3. unclesamkent May 9, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Curious: was the fluorescent dye made from Rose Madder? (http://phys.org/news/2012-12-ancient-red-dye-powers-green.html)

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