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Andalusian researchers design alternatives with titanium dioxide to the traditional photovoltaic cell

24.04.2006


Andalusian scientists of the University of Cadiz and Pablo de Olavide University (Seville) are working on a project of improvement in the photoelectrochemical solar cells performance, an alternative to the silicon cells that are normally used. This would entail reductions in the cost of the parts.



The semi-conduit used in most photovoltaic solar cells that are commercialised is silicon, and despite its optimum efficiency in the exploitation of solar energy, it is a material whose production involves a high cost.

The alternative to using silicon sheets are Photoelectrochemical Solar Cells or DSSC (Dye Sensitised Solar Cells). These sheets are noted for using titanium dioxide as an electrical semi-conduit, rather economical and known for a long time as the basis of chemical photography. These sheets consist of two transparent pieces of glass that are electrical conduits between which there is a semi-conduit layer of titanium dioxide with an absorbed colouring and an electrolytic dissolution of iodine and potassium iodure.


Experts calculate the thermal sensibility of the absorbed colouring, then calculate the photoconverting effectiveness of the cells, and in general, obtain a higher exploitation of the light through these cells by means of using the appropriate tools.

According to sources of Andalucía Investiga, the main problem in the use of titanium dioxide is that it can only absorb ultraviolet radiation, which is a minimum part of the radiation from the sun. In order to solve this difficulty, the colouring is associated to the semi-conduit.

Ismael Gaona | alfa
Further information:
http://www.andaluciainvestiga.com

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