Project TitleAn All-Carbon Counter Electrode for Dye Sensitized Solar Cell
Track Code2011-159
Short Description

Cost-effective carbon electrode to replace traditional platinum electrodes and improve solar cell efficiency

#energy #solar #materials #electronic


Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are an inexpensive alternative to thin film solar cells. However, the efficiency of these solar cells needs to be improved by a factor of 2 and their cost further reduced in order to be competitive in the market. Northwestern University researchers have developed a DSSC that is 50% more efficient than any other solar cell of its kind. The key design features that allow for this significant improvement are the carbon electrode and the plastic electrolyte. Until these innovations were made, DSSC electrodes were made of platinum, an expensive precious metal. Traditional DSSCs also used liquid electrolytes, which made them less stable. The combination of these novel design features will foster further research into DSSCs and make them a viable competitor to thin film solar cells. 

TagsENERGY: solar, MATERIALS: electronic
Posted DateJan 20, 2015 10:45 AM


Byunghong Lee
Donald B. Buchholz
Rober P. H. Chang 


  •   Dye sensitized solar cells


  •  Less expensive compared to thin film solar cells and current DSSCs
  •  More durable and stable then traditional DSSCs


IP Status

US and international patent applications have been filed.

Marketing Contact

Sarah Kamper, PhD

Invention Associate

(p) 847-491-5095