James E. Blackburn, Jr. Honors in Chemistry

Dye Sensitized Semiconductors: An Approach to Obtain Energy from the Sun
This project used materials in order to make dye sensitized semiconductors out of various materials, most importantly Zinc Oxide and Rose Bengal. The Zinc Oxide has a conduction band with similar energy orbitals to that of the dye, Rose Bengal. Electrodes fabricated using pelletized ZnO produced by compression proved to be fragile and unstable in solution, showing no reproducible photovoltage. Electrodes produced by adsorbing Rose Bengal to the surface of oxidized Zn/ZnO particles, which were immobilized on a Zn surface in a silicate matrix, showed a consistent photovoltaic response of a few millivolts for the dye adsorption concentrations studied.