What are dye sensitized solar cells ? I really need an easy explanation if possible.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Dye-sensitized solar cells are a relatively inexpensive way to conver the sun's solar power into electricity.  Most conventional solar cells involve the use of a heavy layer of doped silicon, which is fairly expensive to use.  The dye-sensitized cell utilizes, instead, a thinner layer of photon-sensitive dye, which causes a flow of electrons to be introduced within the electrolyte in the next layer.  When you create an electric difference, called an electric potential, between one side of the cell and the other, you get the flow of electrons, or electricity.  A cathode represents the positive side, from which electrons flow into and through to the negatively charged side, the anode.  The solar cell captures photons from the sun, which are tiny packets of energy, absorbs them in the dye, which stimulates the electrons within the dye.  The advantage to using the dye-sensitive solar cell is a higher cost-to-build/energy produced ratio, which transfers to a cheaper priced energy substitution.  A disadvantage would be the days that are overcast, or rainy, where energy from the sun is not as available in concentrated strength.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team