My final project for Energy class is making a dye sensitized solar cells with hair, First I needed to understand what is dye sensitized solar cells.
According to Wikipidia dye sensitized solar cells are basically semiconductor formed between a photo-sensitized anode and an electrolyte, a photoelectrochemical system.
Now there are a lot of DIY videos about making an dye sensitized solar cells with a fruit such as blackberry or pomegranate juice on a
Titianium dioxide mixed with ether Nitric Acid or Acetic Acid mixed paste
But since I will try to make solar cell with a hair first I need to find about if Hair is conductive or not
I have collected some hair form my bath tub and tried to measure if there is any conduction with hair but. there wasn’t any conduction...
So I thought about what if I can burn the hair so it carbonize?
And I have found an interesting article where they talk about
A Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Using a Composite of PEDOT:PSS and Carbon Derived from Human Hair for a Counter Electrode
So I bruned my hair with a torch and it smelled
Then I collected some of the carbonized hair into a conductive glass
Then I needed a dye ususaly the blackberry juice work as tranfporter of the electrons.
Those excited electrons are transferred from the blackberry dye to the TiO2 , which transfers it to the electrode, producing electricity.
But this leaves the blackberry dye slightly positive (oxidized), and it needs an electron to make it neutral again.
That electron is available at the counter electrode (the one coated with graphite).
but In my case I will not use a berry juice so I have fiugred out that I can make a
soy sauce with hair....
Which is pretty gross but I had to try it if it works
Since I got Nitric Acid to mix it with my Titanium Dioxide to make the conductive paste I used nitric acid to make the soy sauce
first step was just pouring the acid into hair to seperate the protein from the hair and creates amino acid
and it will dissolve it into a dark brown liquid
then you can add Sodium hydroxide to create the salty taste but I'm not going to taste it so I skipped the Sodium hydroxide step
and then I used the hair sauce as a dye and the results were...
It generates about 193 to 180 mV !!!
And it generated about .045 to .035 mA
I think I am going to Keep working on this project until I can figure out how to make a solar cell with an actaul hair not carboniized or soy sauce that is made out of hair!