Solar cells as alternative energy

In order to get around the problems due to the exhaustion of fossil fuels, Benoit Marsan, professor at the Department of Chemistry at UQAM and specialist in electrochemistry, has been working for 18 years on the improvement of electrochemical solar cells. have made it possible to file two patents so far.

The first allows it to protect a new method of preparing the cathode, made from a thin layer of almost transparent cobalt sulfide, as well as its application in a solar cell. Very easy to manufacture and inexpensive, the cathode would be more catalytic than those commonly used in electrochemical solar cells, made from platinum. This cathode, which can be used in batteries from different technologies, is also currently being tested by a Japanese firm in solar cells based on nanocrystalline titanium dioxide sensitized by a dye (Gratzel type battery).

The second patent concerns the discovery of new families of redox couples with exceptional characteristics that can be used in several high-tech applications, including solar cells. They are transparent, non-corrosive, very conductive and generally have greater electrochemical reversibility. In addition, their oxidation-reduction potential can be modulated depending on the nature of the molecules used, thus leading to greater photovoltaics.

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A third patent is pending and will focus on protecting the semiconductor anode. The ultimate challenge will be to integrate all of these components into one single battery. His laboratory then plans to integrate this battery into a vehicle to maintain the charge of the battery, or even cover an entire vehicle. "We could not generate enough power to propel the vehicle, specifies Benoit Marsan. But we could certainly reduce fuel consumption in a substantial way."

- Dr. Benoit Marsan, Chair of the Search Committee - Department of Chemistry
and biochemistry - Universite du Quebec a Montreal, CP 8888, Succ.
Downtown, Montreal (Quebec), Canada H3C 3P8 - email:
Editor: Elodie Pinot, OTTAWA,

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