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Natural Dyes as Efficient Candidate for Enhancing the Photovoltaic Properties of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Start Date: Sunday, Jan 01,2012

School: School of Biotechnology

Project Incharge:Dr. Sreekala C. O.
Co-Project Incharge:Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan
Natural Dyes as Efficient Candidate for Enhancing the Photovoltaic Properties of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

The requirement of energy in India has been growing exponentially over the years. Since conventional energy options are futile to tackle this raise, the needs for non-conventional energy sources have become essential. Solar Photovoltaic cell could be one such alternative energy source since solar energy is available abundantly in the world which is renewable, eco friendly and free from pollution. Extensive research is in progress for the development of alternative economical solar cells in India. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have been attracting wide-spread scientific and technological interest and are regarded as an alternative to traditional photovoltaic devices due to their potential advantages of high efficiency and low cost. Till today, efficiency greater than 11% has been achieved in cell based on nano crystalline TiO2 and Ru-based N-719 and N749 dyes. The DSSC works on the principle similar to the preparation of food in plants. At present DSSCs with ruthenium based dyes exhibit highest efficiencies (15%), but it is very costly. The performance of dye sensitized solar cells is primarily based on the dye as a sensitizer. Because of its low cost, natural dyes have become a viable alternative to expensive and rare organic sensitizers . The efficiency obtained with the natural dyes is below the requirements for large scale production but the results are hopeful for further research in this area. So we can boost up additional studies orienting towards for enhancing the natural sensitizers and to the optimization of compatible solar cell components.

This study proposes the investigation of ‘Dye Sensitized Solar Cell’ using of quinones of natural dyes mainly Alizarin and Lawsone and its chemical modifications. Main objectives of our work are:
• Modification of quinones (natural dyes) especially Lawsone and Alizarin, attaching metal complexes by chemical modification and study the effect of pH variation in DSSC.
• Structural analysis of the modified dye.
• Fabrication of DSSC and study the optical and electrical characterization.
• Comparing the efficiencies of the DSSCs fabricated with these dyes to the standard dye (N719 dye)

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