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6 May 2011

According to researchers at MIT, living viruses can be harnessed to install highly conductive carbon nanotubes in the anode structures of dye sensitized solar cells, which increases their efficiency by nearly 30%. Dye sensitized solar cells are photo-electro-chemical systems with a semiconductor material located between a photo-sensitized anode and an electrolyte. Sunlight is absorbed by titanium dioxide nanoparticles covered with a dye, which release electrons into the anode. These electrons are collected to power a load, and then returned by the cathode to the electrolyte to close the loop. By harnessing a virus to lace the anode with nanotubes, the researchers managed to boost the cell efficiency from less than 8% to over 10.6%. [via]

Viruses harnessed to fabricate solar cells – [Link]

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