7Design and Fabrication of Carbon‐based Nanostructured Counter Electrode Materials for Dye‐sensitized Solar Cells

Jayaraman Theerthagiri1,2, Raja Arumugam Senthil1, and Jagannathan Madhavan1

1 Solar Energy Laboratory, Thiruvalluvar University, India

2 Centre of Excellence for Energy Research, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, India

7.1 Photovoltaic Solar Cells – An Overview

Photovoltaic (PV) is the collective name for devices that directly convert sunlight into electricity. Among all the sustainable energy technologies, such as wind, tide, hydro, geothermal, and biomass, PV technology is the most elegant method of producing electricity without pollution, sound or moving parts [15]. The history of PV dates back to the first discovery of the “photovoltaic effect” by French physicist Edmond Becquerel in 1839. He noticed the generation of an electric current while experimenting with a silver‐coated platinum electrode placed in an electrolyte [6, 7]. This preliminary result opened the way for developing a variety of concepts and devices to convert sunlight into electricity in order to explore clean and renewable energy.

The spectral distribution of the solar spectrum was first described by Max Planck in 1901 through his Planck’s law [8]. In 1905, Albert Einstein described how “light quanta” absorption causes the photoelectric effect and, hence, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. This is the theoretical basis for all PV devices. Modern application of PV devices was ...

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