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In the General, Organic and Biological Chemistry (GOB) Lab Kit: Build a Solar Cell, dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) and learn about the principles behind its operation.

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General, Organic and Biological Chemistry Solar energy, the conversion of sunlight to electricity, has enormous potential as a clean source of renewable energy. High-performance solar cells are very expensive while less expensive solar cells are not as efficient. Dye sensitized solar cells mimic the process that occurs in photosynthesis to harvest sunlight and convert it to electricity. In this activity, students build a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) and learn about the principles behind its operation. Complete for 24 students working in groups of four.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
MS-PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
HS-PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer

Crosscutting Concepts

Scale, proportion, and quantity
Systems and system models
Energy and matter

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-3. Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
MS-PS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer.
HS-PS3-3. Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.