Skip to main content
Email Print Share

Dye-sensitized solar cell.Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide are coated with a dye that ...

Image of a dye sensitized solar cell

Dye-sensitized solar cell. Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide are coated with a dye that absorbs a wide range of light waves from the sun. Then they are applied to a conducting glass electrode immersed in an electrolyte solution containing iodine molecules and a second (platinum) electrode. The cells generate electricity when the energy captured by the dye excites an electron in the dye molecule. The electron is injected into a titanium dioxide particle and diffuses toward the glass electrode; from there, a wire carries it to the external circuit. The circuit closes when electrons return to the platinum electrode and attach to iodine molecules, which diffuse across the electrolyte, returning to and regenerating the dye. Alexander Agrios, 2004 IRFP fellow, will work with solar-cell pioneer Michael Grätzel in Switzerland to fabricate a new generation of dye-sensitized solar cells aimed at lowering the cost of solar energy.

Credit: Alex Agrios, Northwestern University

General Restrictions:
Images and other media in the Multimedia in the News section of the NSF Multimedia Gallery are not for use by the public without permission from the copyright owner listed in the credit.

Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

Also Available:
Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (420 KB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.

Related story: NSF Names 34 International Research Fellows