Ressearchers from China and Switzerland have hit the highest efficiency level ever for dye-sensitized solar cells. The new dye-sensitized cells (also known as Gratzel cells) are made up of titanium dioxide and powerful light harvesting dyes. While cheaper to make than silicon based solar cells, they are not as efficient, and the dye-sensitized cells become even less efficient after a relatively short exposure to sunlight.
The researchers created cells with a new type of ruthenium-based dye. The new dye helped boost the light absorbing ability of the sun, and the cells were able to hit efficiencies as high as 10%, which is a record for this type of cells. Additionally, the cells were much more stable than previous generations of dye-sensitized cells – they were able to keep generating electricity at over 90% of their max output even after 1,000 hours in full sunlight.