Date Fruit Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

  • Aravind Muthiah

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

Date fruits are the most widely available, locally grown crop in desert regions. During their different stages of ripening they have different concentration levels of tannin in addition to a variety of other chemicals. These tannins are known to complex strongly with TiO2 - an essential component of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). They also have excellent photochemical stability thereby exhibiting low degradation on exposure to sunlight. This study seeks to explore these interesting properties by extracting a natural organic dye from date fruit, analyzing its composition and determining its efficiency in DSSCs. The components of the DSSC were characterized using techniques such as UV-Visible spectroscopy and Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Spectroscopy (DRIFTS) while the device was characterized using Current density-Voltage (JV) curve analysis and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). The dye extracted from date fruit was found to absorb visible light in the 400-500 nm region and the DSSC sensitized with this dye was found to consistently exhibit efficiency of 0.8% with a reasonable open circuit voltage (Voc) of 450-550 mV but a low short circuit current. This cell was then compared to a DSSC sensitized with the benchmark high efficiency, synthetic N719 dye subjected to the same conditions.
Date of AwardJun 2013
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorSimo O. Pehkonen (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Date Fruits; Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs); Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Spectroscopy (DRIFTS).

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