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Single-celled marine life forms called diatoms are about to light up our lives.
Oregon State University and Portland State University have been working with the rigid-shelled creatures in a new type of solar cell that functions at the nanotechnology level.
Biology replaces conventional semiconductor application by using the skeletons of the tiny diatoms on a conductive glass surface to create a grid into which a soluble titanium dioxide is fed. The resulting film facilitates dye-sensitized technology in which photons bounce around pinball fashion striking dyes and producing electricity.
This technology is slightly more expensive than other dye-sensitized methods, but has the potential for triple the electrical output.
The video above explains the overall concept of dye-sensitized electrical generation.