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Module Abstract

In this module, you will construct a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC). This device is essentially a photo-electrochemical cell, which means that a photo-induced chemical reaction causes electrons to travel from one material to another. DSC’s consist of a nanostructured semiconductor film coated with organic dye molecules. The nanostructure intimately contacts an electrolyte solution that contains a chemical mediator. The film and solution are sandwiched between two electrodes that allow the device to be electrically connected to an external load.

Nano Concepts – Lists which nanotechnology areas are being explored

  • Thin films/nanoscale-coatings
  • Photonics 

Traditional Science Concepts – Lists which science areas are being explored 

  • Nature/structure of matter
  • DC electricity
  • Photovoltaics

Module Resources and Documents
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Dye-Sensitized Slides

List of Required Materials
The full list of items needed for this module is below.  Note that materials for DIY modules are not available through Nano-Link or the Nano-Infusion program.

  1. Nanocrystalline TiO2
  2. Mortar and pestle
  3. Very dilute acetic acid (0.1 ml concentrated acetic acid in 50 ml water)
  4. Dishwashing detergent
  5. Empty syringe and parafilm
  6. Conductive glass
  7. Multimeter
  8. Transparent tape
  9. Microscope slide
  10. Hotplate
  11. Frozen raspberries
  12. Watch glass
  13. Water wash bottle
  14. Ethanol wash bottle
  15. Candle and matches
  16. Clamp or tongs to hold glass while carbon coating
  17. Cotton swabs
  18. Binder clips
  19. KI3 in ethylene glycol
  20. Strong light source (heat lamp, projector, or sun)