How To Build Your Own Solar Cells

In this tutorial you will learn how to build your own solar cells from scratch.

Let’s begin:

Titanium Dioxide Coating
Place 6 grams of Ti2 powder on a mortar and grind evenly.
Slowly pour in under a ventilated fume hood 1 milliliter at a time while grinding the mixture.
This will yield a milky white liquid.
Place a drop of clear dishwashing liquid soap and AVOID mixing to avoid it foaming and bubbling.
The dishwashing liquid will allow you to coat glass plates more evenly.
Pour this solution to a small bottle and allow cooling for 15 minutes.

Painting with Ti2 Suspension
Get 2 conductive slides and rinse with ethanol. Dry using tissue.
Test which of the side is conductive using a multi-meter in OHMS.
You will know that the side is conductive if it registers between 10 – 30 Ohms and is bluish-hazy.
The non-conductive side is clear-yellowish.
Tape one glass slide on the table using transparent tape on all edges.
Three edges should be covered up to one millimeter while on the last edge, 4 millimeter.
Wipe off fingerprint/oil on the surface using tissue and ethanol.
Place 1-2 drops of Ti2 solution on the slide and spread with a glass stirring rod.
Allow to dry then remove the tape from the solar cell.

Annealing
Anneal the film on the glass slide using a hot air gun for 30 minutes or place it over an alcohol burner for 10 minutes.
The Ti2 coated section will turn purplish brown and then back to white as heat burns the surfactant.
Store the slides for the meantime.

Staining with Anthocyanin dye
Crush 3-4 berries and transfer to a petri dish.
Dilute with 15 ml of distilled water and stir.
Dip the Ti2 coated section of the slide face down on the juice and leave for 10 minutes.
If the slide is not fully coated, leave for another 5 minutes on the solar cell. Rinse.

Carbon Coating
Heat conductive part of glass plate until it forms soot, holding it with a metal thong. Clean residual soot off the 4 mm strip on glass using tissue.
Be careful not to rub the soot off the glass of the solar cell.

Assembling
Sandwich the carbon coated slide and Ti2 slide together. The coated areas should touch directly leaving the 4mm strips exposed. Clip them with binder strips. So as not to move. Put 1-2 drop of iodine and spread wiping the excess.
Fasten the alligator clips to the exposed sides.

Once you have created a few solar cells you are ready to turn them into solar panels
Here is a great book on How to build your own solar panels.

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