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Indigenous natural dyes for Gratzel solar cells : Sepia melanin

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dc.contributor.advisor Dhlamini, S. Mokhotjwa
dc.contributor.advisor Mwakikunga, Bonex
dc.contributor.advisor Maaza, Malik, 1963- Mbonyiryivuze, Agnes 2015-09-07T12:32:11Z 2015-09-07T12:32:11Z 2014-11
dc.identifier.citation Mbonyiryivuze, Agnes (2014) Indigenous natural dyes for Gratzel solar cells : sepia melanin, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract Dye-sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC), also known as Grätzel cells, have been identified as a cost-effective, easy-to-manufacture alternative to conventional solar cells. While mimicking natural photosynthesis, they are currently the most efficient third-generation solar technology available. Among others, their cost is dominated by the synthetic dye which consists of efficient Ruthenium based complexes due to their high and wide spectral absorbance. However, the severe toxicity, sophisticated preparation techniques as well as the elevated total cost of the sensitizing dye is of concern. Consequently, the current global trend in the field focuses on the exploitation of alternative organic dyes such as natural dyes which have been studied intensively. The main attractive features of natural dyes are their availability, environmental friendly, less toxicity, less polluting and low in cost. This contribution reports on the possibility of using sepia melanin dye for such DSSC application in replacement of standard costly ruthenium dyes. The sepia melanin polymer has interesting properties such as a considerable spectral absorbance width due to the high degree of conjugation of the molecule. This polymer is capable of absorbing light quantum, both at low and high energies ranging from the infrared to the UV region. The comprehensive literature survey on Grätzel solar cells, its operating principle, as well as its sensitization by natural dyes focusing on sepia melanin has been provided in this master’s dissertation. The obtained results in investigating the morphology, chemical composition, crystalline structure as well as optical properties of sepia melanin samples using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Energy x-ray diffraction, X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, UV-VIS absorption spectroscopy as well as Photoluminescence (PL) for Grätzel solar cell application have been reported. These results represent an important step forward in defining the structure of melanin. The results clearly show that sepia melanin can be used as natural dye to DSSC sensitization. It is promising for the realization of high cell performance, low-cost production, and non-toxicity. It should be emphasized here that natural dyes from food are better for human health than synthetic dyes. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) en
dc.subject Melanin en
dc.subject Eumelanin en
dc.subject Sepia melanin en
dc.subject Sepia officinalis en
dc.subject Dye sensitizer en
dc.subject Natural dye en
dc.subject Solar energy en
dc.subject Titanium dioxide en
dc.subject.ddc 621.31244
dc.subject.lcsh Dye-sensitized solar cells en
dc.subject.lcsh Melanin en
dc.subject.lcsh Solar energy en
dc.subject.lcsh Energy conversion en
dc.title Indigenous natural dyes for Gratzel solar cells : Sepia melanin en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.department Physics
dc.description.department 1 online resource (xii, 101 leaves) : illustrations M. Sc. (Physics)

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