Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Molecules typically found in blue jean and ink dyes may lead to more efficient solar cells

Photovoltaic cells produce electricity directl...Image via Wikipedia

Molecules typically found in blue jean and ink dyes may lead to more efficient solar cells: "ITHACA, N.Y. — Making better solar cells: Cornell University researchers have discovered a simple process – employing molecules typically used in blue jean and ink dyes – for building an organic framework that could lead to economical, flexible and versatile solar cells. The discovery is reported in the journal Nature Chemistry.

Today's heavy silicon panels are effective, but they can also be expensive and unwieldy. Searching for alternatives, William Dichtel, assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology, and Eric L. Spitler, a National Science Foundation American Competitiveness in Chemistry Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell, employed a strategy that uses organic dye molecules assembled into a structure known as a covalent organic framework (COF). Organic materials have long been recognized as having potential to create thin, flexible and low-cost photovoltaic devices, but it has been proven difficult to organize their component molecules reliably into ordered structures likely to maximize device performance."