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Sci Rep. 2013;3:2357. doi: 10.1038/srep02357.

Regenerable photovoltaic devices with a hydrogel-embedded microvascular network.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7905, USA.

Abstract

Light-driven degradation of photoactive molecules could be one of the major obstacles to stable long term operation of organic dye-based solar light harvesting devices. One solution to this problem may be mimicking the regeneration functionality of a plant leaf. We report an organic dye photovoltaic system that has been endowed with such microfluidic regeneration functionality. A hydrogel medium with embedded channels allows rapid and uniform supply of photoactive reagents by a convection-diffusion mechanism. A washing-activation cycle enables reliable replacement of the organic component in a dye-sensitized photovoltaic system. Repetitive restoration of photovoltaic performance after intensive device degradation is demonstrated.

PMID:
23912814
PMCID:
PMC3733051
DOI:
10.1038/srep02357
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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