A workshop on Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC) using natural dyes was conducted at D. B. Pampa College, Parumala on July 22, 2016 by the Amrita Green Energy Lab team as a part of Physics Association inauguration “Oorjam 2016” of their department of Physics. Dr. C. O. Sreekala, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Amritapuri and Dr. K. S. Sreelatha, Assistant Professor, Government College, Kottayam were the resource persons. Mrs. Jinchu I., Research Scholar, Amrita School of Arts and Sciences; Mr. Krishnakumar G., Project Fellow, Government College, Kottayam; and PG students Sona Kurian, Thomaskutty Mathew, and Vishnu B. from K. G. College Pampady; Amalrani George, Lakshmi R. and Thanseema A. P. of Government College, Kottayam, accompanied the resource persons. Forty-eight MSc students from different colleges participated in the workshop: 16 students were from Marthoma College Thiruvalla, 18 from N.S.S Hindu College, Changanaserry and 14 from D. B. Pampa College. 

The workshop began with the session on the introduction of “Dye Sensitized Solar Cell” by Dr. C. O. Sreekala. The experimental part was monitored by Jinchu I., guided by Dr. K. S. Sreelatha and Dr. C. O. Sreekala. Each group consisting of 2–3 students fabricated their own DSSC. The doctor blade technique of thin film fabrication was familiarized through the preparation of working electrode. The graphite coated FTO counter electrode they prepared was used. Anthocyanin dye extracted from pomegranate and iodine electrolyte was used to fabricate the device. The current and voltage of the fabricated DSSCs were measured by using a multimeter. 

The participants offered excellent feedback about the workshop. They were excited to fabricate a DSSC and they found the workshop very effective, as it gave them a platform for understanding both theoretical and experimental sides of DSSC. Through this workshop the students were benefited in following ways,

  • Had hands on experience in the fabrication of DSSC.
  • Could measure the photovoltaic properties of the fabricated device.
  • Could calculate the efficiency of the fabricated cell and thereby appreciate nanotechnology.
  • Developed scientific attitude towards the new technology.
  • Developed curiosity to solve energy crisis.
  • Promoted informal interaction and discussion.
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