Among the myriad of renewable energy sources present in nature, solar energy is regarded as one of the most promising sources because of its abundance. To date, the field of commercial photovoltaics is dominated by conventional inorganic semiconductor technologies like silicon because of their relatively high efficiencies. A very promising alternative to classical, inorganic solar cells is the concept of dye-sensitized solar cells, introduced by Grätzel in 1991. These cells exhibit impressive light conversion efficiencies of up to 10% and they are created using cheap materials and simple printing techniques. They thereby represent an exciting new approach to solar cells that has the possibility to decrease the price of solar energy. Dye Sensitized Solar cell research was introduced as a summer research project here at Cornell College six years ago by the Physics Department. This year, we were able to increase the efficiency of the cells by about 2% from previous years to a new record efficiency of 5.6%. In our presentation we will discuss the manufacturing process, tests utilized and the results obtained from the summer’s research.
Kathleen Ellis ’13
Mandip Sibakoti ’12
Majors: Computer Science, Physics
Sponsors: Kara Beauchamp and Derin Sherman