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Build a Solar Cell: Photovoltaic Effect and Photosynthesis—ChemTopic™ Lab Activity

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Solar energy has enormous potential as a clean source of renewable energy to replace fossil fuels, but it has tradeoffs in cost and efficiency in comparison. Dye-sensitized solar cells promise a better balance between cost and efficiency, mimicking the photosynthetic process and converting it to electricity. With the Build a Solar Cell: Photovoltaic Effect and Photosynthesis—ChemTopic™ Lab Activity, groups of students build dye-sensitized solar cells using conductive glass plates, stained nanocrystalline titanium oxide, graphite and an iodine/iodide electrolyte solution.

Concepts

  • Photovoltaic Cell
  • Photoelectrochemical Cell
  • Photoelectric Effect
  • Semiconductor