Effect of Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide as Semiconductors and Blackberry Juice, Hibiscus Tea, or Juiced Spinach as a Dye for a Dye Sensitized Solar Cell

This experiment was conducted in order to test six different Grätzel solar cell combinations of different dyes and semiconductors to discover which combination generated the highest average voltage output. The cells were made using two semiconductors: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and three dyes: juiced spinach, crushed blackberries, and hibiscus tea. The semiconductors were chosen based on previous research conducted in this field (Earle) and the recommendation of a professor at University of Michigan who is doing work in this field (Maldonado). The dyes were chosen based on previous research and the pigments of the dyes. Both crushed blackberries and hibiscus tea contain the pigment lycopene which appears red on the visible light spectrum, and the juiced spinach contains chlorophyll which gives the green color. An analysis of variance, or ANOVA, test was run due to numerous combinations that needed to be compared to one another. This test concluded that there was an 88.5% chance of all combinations having the same average voltage output. This means that statistically, all of the combinations have the same average voltage output and there is little variation in the data. The highest voltage output in the experiment came from a titanium dioxide spinach cell at 2.122 volts; however, the highest average voltage output came from the zinc oxide hibiscus tea population with an average voltage output of 0.308 volts. This data led to the conclusion that the Grätzel solar cell constructed with zinc oxide as the semiconductor and hibiscus tea as the dye produced the highest average voltage output.

Research Done By:

Corrine Anderson
Lake Shore High School

Ashley Gerebics
Fraser High School