20 March 2009 ACS

DIY Solar Cells Made from Doughnuts and Tea

A group of scientists at Notre Dame have shown how dye-sensitised solar cells can be made from doughnuts and tea.

In a fast-paced video, Blake Farrow and the PVK group run through a process that essentially combines chemicals from tea and American-style sugared doughnuts to form a solar energy soaking film that can be applied to a sheet of glass.

The process isn't easy and requires a fair amount of scientific kit, but he starts by extracting “titanium dioxide nanoparticles” from some powdered sugar doughnuts. Roughly ten layers of these nanoparticles applied to a sheet of glass is, according to the video's presenter, “pretty much a solar cell”. But because this set-up on its own won't work with “regular sunlight", the presenter next extracts organic dyes from a cup of sweet tea that enables the solar cell to “absorb light we can see”.

Finally, to prove that his invention works, the solar scientist hooks the cell up to a multimeter that appears to show an electrical current being generated from the DIY solar cell.

Researchers demonstrate a new solar cell technology based entirely on powdered donuts and passion tea. The footage is a Nanotation Video contest entry: http://community.acs.org/na...


Source: American Chemical Society /...

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