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Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), also known as “Grätzel cells” are used to convert light energy into electrical energy. This efficient type of thin-film photovoltaic cell technology is named after Michael Grätzel (EPFL, Switzerland), who introduced this powerful tool in the early 1990s [1].

DSSCs are easy to manufacture using already established roll-printing techniques, and are semi-transparent and semi-flexible, allowing a range of uses that are not applicable to the commonly known rigid silicon-based photovoltaic wafer systems.

The majority of materials used are inexpensive, but some of the more costly noble metals are necessary for making the device.  There is a significant practical challenge involved in designing liquid and solid electrolytes for DSSCs, which must be able to remain stable under all kinds of external influences.

Even though the conversion efficiency of up to 12.3% in DSSCs systems [2] is lower than that of some other thin-film cells, their price to performance ratio is sufficient to make them an important player in the solar market, particularly in building-integrated photovoltaic applications.

Have a look at how DSSCs are being made under lab conditions.


and below Michael Grätzel explais how the Dye-sensitized solar cells work


[1] Brian O’Regan und Michael Grätzel: A low-cost, high-efficiency solar cell based on dye-sensitized colloidal TiO2 films. In: Nature. 353, Nr. 6346, 1991, ISSN 0028-0836, S. 737–740,doi:10.1038/353737a0


[2] Yella, A; Lee, HW; Tsao, HN; Yi, C; Chandiran, AK; Nazeeruddin, MK; Diau, EW-D; Yeh, C-Y; Zakeeruddin, SM; Grätzel, M: Porphyrin-Sensitized Solar Cells with Cobalt (II/III)–Based Redox Electrolyte Exceed 12 Percent Efficiency. In: Science. Nr. 6056, 2011, S. 629-634. doi:10.1126/science.1209688