Brilliant Cornell University Researchers say that they have found a solution to creating yet more proficient solar cells. Well, as it turns out, particular molecules found in blue jeans and some other ink dyes may be used in a process for assembling a structure called “covalent organic framework” or COF, which help to make cheaper, flexible solar cells.
While organic materials have failed to prove ease of use in the creation of solar cells, the researchers are finding that these molecules found in every-day materials might be just what we needed.
The process makes use of phthalocyanines – common industrial dyes similar in structure to chlorophyll. It can absorb the entire solar spectrum, and is therefore ideal for maxium solar cell efficiency.
By using this molecule and a new process, the researchers have come up with something special.
According to Life Sciences:
“The strategy uses a simple acid catalyst and relatively stable molecules called protected catechols to assemble key organic molecules into a neatly ordered two-dimensional sheet. These sheets stack on top of one another to form a lattice that provides pathways for charge to move through the material.”
So, not only is it easy to build, but the structures may be taken apart and re-made to correct any errors. Thus far, the research has yielded but a structure for a solar cell, that is, not an actual solar cell. But the researchers hope that it is a model which can be used in manufacturing more effecual solar cells in the near future.