Friday, April 10, 2009
By harnessing the shells of living organisms in the sea--microscopic algae called diatoms--engineers have tripled the efficiency of experimental dye-sensitized solar cells. The diatoms were fed a diet of titanium dioxide--the main ingredient for thin film solar cells--instead of their usual meal which is silica (silicon dioxide). As a result, their shells became photovoltaic when coated with dyes. The resulting dye sensitize solar cells were three times more efficient than those without the diatoms.
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 10:23 AM