Solar energy is considered as the biggest solution of energy crisis as a clean, green and abundant source. However, at present majority of photovoltaic market is occupied by silicon based solar cells which are expensive. Thus, there is a search for low cost alternatives of silicon solar cells to ensure widespread affordability of solar energy. The quest for such alternatives has led to the development of Dye sensitized Solar cells (DSSCs). A DSSC is composed of a photoanode coated with a several microns thin layer of titanium dioxide (TiO2), on which a monolayer of dye molecules are adsorbed which absorbs sunlight (photosensitizer), an electrolyte for dye regeneration and a counter electrode (cathode). Together, they are enclosed in a sandwich like structure with the dye molecule playing a pivotal role as photon absorbers. Therefore, a significant amount of research on DSSC has been focused on designing and optimizing the photosensitizer (dyes) in order to absorb a wide spectrum of wavelengths and increase the efficiency of the solar energy conversion.
We fabricated the Dye sensitized Solar cells (DSSCs) naturally occurring anthocyanin dyes extracted from naturally found fruits/ juices (viz. Plum, Black Currant,Indian Jamun and Berries).Anthocyanin was extracted with the regular process by using acidified ethanol. The highest power conversion efficiencies (η) of 0.55% and 0.53% were achieved for the DSSCs fabricated using anthocyanin extracts of blackcurrant and mixed berry juice. Given the widespread availability of these fruits/juices, high concentration of anthocyanins in them and ease of extraction of anthocyanin dyes from these commonly available fruits render them novel and inexpensive candidates for solar cell fabrication.
Dye (anthocyanin) extraction