These black, rod-shaped crystals are an intermediate for a dye that could be used in solar cells. Bin Cai, a postdoc at Uppsala University, purified the solution with the crystal precursors and placed it in the corner of a fume hood; when he returned to the lab the next day, he noticed that the crystals had formed on their own overnight. Cai explains that the molecule’s structure contains a large, conjugated, rigid aromatic ring, and that the molecule exhibits a strong aggregation behavior. Cai’s research focuses on finding dyes that can efficiently convert sunlight to electricity for use in dye sensitized solar cells. He’s investigating whether this dark material can absorb sunlight efficiently.
Submitted by Bin Cai
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