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-The Art of Laying Apples- A Demonstration of Electron Transfer and Nanotechnology using Renewable Energy. Jarrod G Collins Klein Forest High School Klein ISD Dr. Haiyan Wang & Dr. Xinghang Zhang Dept of Materials Science, Electrical Engineering & Mechanical Engineering. Research Objective.
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Jarrod G Collins
Klein Forest High School
Dr. Haiyan Wang & Dr. Xinghang Zhang
Dept of Materials Science, Electrical Engineering & Mechanical Engineering
Thin Film = A thin layer of coating on a substrate
or a template
Used for energy, protection, conducting, storage
Synthesis of Thin film using (PLD) (MS)
Microstructure characterization using (TEM)
Property characterization (XRD) (SEM) (VSM)
(cpu processors, cell phones, ipod, watches)
Solar Panels, Fuel Cells
AR (anti-reflective coatings)
On cars, jewelry, mirrors, night vision goggles
On cutting tools, chemical factories
What is a photovoltaic cell?
Device that can convert sunlight directly into electricity
Also called a Solar Cell
Based on using photons to separate charges
Thin-film photovoltaic cells are included in the TIME\'s Best Inventions of 2008
Grätzel cell is a type of PV cell.
How does it work? Photons strike the cell and their energy is absorbed by the fruit dye.
Electrons become excited, get free of the dye and move thru the TiO2 to produce a current.
The Cyanin dye must be attached & held to the nanoparticle TiO2 and it must be able to absorb the photons\' energy.
Comparison / Contrast between DSSC and traditional silicon-based solar cell
• Performance/Price aspect Slightly lower efficiencies
• No need for expensive equip Certain dye’s breakdown
• Functions in low light conditions Liquid electrolytes can leak
• Materials are extremely low $
Gratzel demonstrationWhy do we need to create Gratzel cells?
is the concept of using nanotechnology to improve thin film synthesis
The relevant TAKS is objective 4 (Chemistry)
The relevant TEKS are:
5B identify and measure energy transformations and
exchanges involved in chemical reactions
8A The student knows how atoms form bonds to acquire a
stable arrangement of electrons
identify characteristics of atoms involved in chemical bonding
8C compare the arrangement of atoms in molecules, ionic crystals,
polymers, and metallic substances
10A The student knows how to identify common
oxidation-reduction reactions processes.
15A The student knows factors involved in chemical reactions
15B The student is expected to verify the law of conservation of
energy by evaluating the energy exchange that occurs as a
consequence of a chemical reaction
Solar photovoltaic cells were originally developed for:
a) desert cooling
b) winter use
c) the space program
d) brick houses
The act of applying a thin film to a surface is called:
a) Thin Film evaporation
b) Thin Film building
c) Thin Film deposition
d) Thin Film pattering
Solar cells require plenty of maintenance T or F
Allow students to brainstorm ideas
Motivate/Encourage/Teach them to use the Scientific Method & follow the 5E model
Guiding questions worth contemplation and exploration by the student
What effect will global warming have on my neighborhood and family?
Which energy is a safe option for our future energy needs?
How can the properties and components of matter be used to predict its behavior?
The 5 E model
Engage, Explore, Explain,
Day 1 – Lecture, Project Announcement, Reading passage
Day 2- Pre-Test, Brainstorming, Lab activity, Wordsearch
Day 3- Starboard vocab activity, groups assigned, materials presented
Day 4,5- Construction of thin film solar panel
Day 6,7- Lab testing/evaluation of finished project
Day 8 – Field testing/redesign if necessary
Day 9- Groups share results/Post test
Coat slides with Nano Titanium Dioxide
identifying the conducting slide
heat glass on hot plate to dry surfactant
Stain Titanium Dioxide with Anthocyanins
Carbon-coated counter electrode
Assembling the Solar Cell
Assemble and clamp plates
Add triiodide solution
Test and evaluate finished thin film solar cell
Determine output characteristics
-Activities with the Grätzel Solar Cell-
• Current and Voltage obtained with different fruit dyes
• Parallel and Series Circuits with a number of solar cells
• Running a small motor with a solar cell
• Electrical power obtained when using different dyes
• Comparision of a silicon solar cell with a Grätzel Solar Cell;
• Effects of different light bulbs (halogen, colored, etc.) on the cell;
• Grätzel Solar Cell powered calculator
• Intensity of light vs current / voltage obtained
Anthocyanins are water-soluble flavonoid pigments present in fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
UV-VIS spectrometer results
Blackberry (peak around 539-540 nm, abs = 0.546):Pomegranate-cranberry (peak at 539 with an abs of 0.35):
Description Voltage (volts) Current (microamperes)
Blueberry 0.340 300
Cranberry 0.337 90.8
Pomegranate/Cranberry gave less current, so it possibly has lower cyanin value
Blueberries have better results, thus probably a better dye to use.
Institute for Chemical Education kit for construction of solar cell
Nanocrystalline Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Kit
The kit will allow 5 cells to be made
5 groups per class
That figures out to 1 class per kit
Nuclear Power Institute (NPI)
Journal of Chemical Education vol. 75 No.6
MichealGrätzel & Greg Smestad
Dr. Wang and Dr. Zhang
Zhenxing Bi & Joon Lee Ph.D. Candidate
Steven Rios & Chenfong Tsai Ph.D. Candidate
The entire E3 faculty
Diane Hurtado, AshwinRao
Especially Matthew Pariyothorn, Dr. Cheryl Page
Dr. Robin Autenrieth & Dr. ArunSrinivasa
All of the E3 Participants, Master Teachers
Guest Lecturers & IGERT students
Video, pictures, & sample data
Alan D. Gleue
Exploratorium Teacher Institute
Jill Johnson & Stephanie Chasteen