"Low power electronic devices are growing ever more omnipresent in the home and work environments. From digital music players, to cell phones, wireless keyboards, and hearing aids, the operation of all such devices requires available electrical power. Batteries are presently the dominant power source for these applications, however the fixed capacity requires periodic replacement or recharging. On the other hand, photovoltaic power sources continuously provide electrical power in lit environments. High power conversion efficiencies are key to enabling design flexibility by lowering the required surface coverage of devices. The tunable nature of dye sensitized solar cells (DSC) make them uniquely well fit to efficiently harvest indoor light.
With this project we aim to demonstrate that DSCs are a competitive power source for the indoor environment. The unique ability to align the harvesting with the incident spectrum provides significant innovation potential for indoor DSCs. Demonstration of superior power conversion efficiency along with the requisite durability metrics will form a persuasive package to motivate additional investment. Drawing from concepts developed under the MESOLIGHT project (ERC grant 247404), the latest advancements in DSC designs will be employed to gain further advantages over competing technologies. Particularly, dye molecules and the corresponding electrolyte compounds designed and synthesized as part of MESOLIGHT task 1 will be utilized in the construction of DSCs for testing under indoor lighting conditions. These new cells are expected to demonstrate unprecedented power conversion efficiencies exceeding 20% under simulated indoor lighting. Beyond laboratory scale DSCs, we will further demonstrate enhanced indoor performance with an industrial DSC architecture based on flexible substrates."
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