Photovoltaic technology, in use for many years,
was considerably improved by the incorporation of compatible dye, which
Michael Grätzel developed and subsequently patented in the
1990's. The core of the dye-sensitized technology consists of nanometer-scale
crystals of TiO2 semiconductor coated with a monolayer of light-absorbing
dye and embedded in an electrolyte between the front and back electrical
contacts. Photons in light are absorbed by the dye.
Relatively simple manufacturing requirements will
allow dye-sensitized photovoltaic products to be manufactured globally,
even in regions where sophisticated manufacturing and support infrastructure
With low-cost raw materials and relatively low-cost
manufacturing technology and processes, deposited thin films have the potential
to provide more than a 50 percent reduction in cost relative to traditional
crystalline cell modules.