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Sweden R&D team says dye-sensitized cells may work better when “dead”

October 12 (SeeNews) – Researchers at Uppsala University, Sweden, have discovered that some old dye-sensitized solar cells can perform better when they have dried-out, and are conducting further research in the work of such “zombie” solar cells.

In the so-called Graetzel cell, an electrically conductive liquid facilitates a flow of electrons. When this liquid was gone, a solid hole conducting structure was created, continuing to transport positive charge, as revealed by Gerrit Boschloo’s group at the Department of Chemistry-Angstroem Laboratory.

In certain cases, the dried-out solar cells worked better than before. Boschloo said specific cells had hit 8% power conversion efficiency, a record for dye-sensitized solar cells with a solid hole conductor.

“Several companies have said that if it would only seal properly, they’d invest in liquid-based solar cells. If we would be able to seal these ‘zombie cells’ so that they would last for years, it would be very interesting,” Boschloo commented.

The research group is collaborating with two chemistry groups at The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and experts in the field of industrial manufacturing from Swerea IVF. The researchers have filed a patent application for the “zombie solar cell” through their own company Dyenamo.

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