Exploring Carotenoid from Rhodococcus Kroppenstedtii as a Photosensitizer in a Dye Sensitised Solar Cell
A Dye-Sensitised Solar Cell (DSSC) is a low-cost thin film solar cell that works in diffused light and comes in a variety of colors. Most of the investigations on organic dye-based DSSC have used pigments from flowers and fruits as photosensitizers. With the majority of the world's economy reliant on agriculture to meet the food and feed demand, using agricultural resources for color extraction is not a realistic solution. Alternative dye resources, such as microorganisms, must thus be investigated in DSSCs to ensure a long-term future. The present study was a preliminary investigation to explore the potential of carotenoids derived from an actinobacteria Rhodococcus kroppenstedtii as a photosensitizer in a DSSC. The carotenoid extract from R. kroppenstedtii was subjected to stability analysis, to ascertain its potential as a photosensitizer. The extract was found to be stable at varying temperatures (0-80 °C), pH (3-11), and light conditions (dark, white light, sunlight), indicating its potential applicability as a photosensitizer. Further, increasing concentrations (12.5 mg/mL-100 mg/mL) of the extract was used for sensitization of TiO 2 in a DSSC assembly. The extract showed a linear rise in power output (078±0.0001 - 20.75±0.0003 mW), which proposes its scope as a stable and cheap photosensitizer in a DSSC.
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