These Are Some Sweet Solar Cells!
The process of manufacturing Solar cells sounds not only complicated, but frankly speaking, quite boring - Unless of course you happen to know Canadian Scientist Blake Farrow's method, using powdered donuts and tea!
According to the young scientist these two items that are cheaply and readily available, have all the necessary ingredients to make a simple solar cell.
Mr. Farrow first starts with the powdered sugar from the donut, which contains nanoparticles of titanium oxide. When the titanium oxide is coated with an organic dye like that found in passion fruit tea, it transforms into the light-absorbing layer of the photovoltaic or solar cell.
As it absorbs light, the electrons get excited with all the energy, which needs to transfer somewhere - So, the scientist sandwiched the solar cell between two graphite electrodes, which he made by rubbing a pencil onto some conducting glass. In order for the energy to be able to tranfer between the two electrodes, there has to be an electrolyte, which Blake created from iodine water purification tablets - And volia, the Solar cell was ready to go!
While Mr. Farrow's solar cell is not the world's most efficient one, it is definitely more fun to create than the conventional way. Who knew science could be so sweet!
Source: hackaday.com, wired.com