Solar Cell Inventor Honored by U of L
LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 21, 2013 — Swiss chemist Michael Graetzel, noted for his discovery of a dye-sensitized solar cell that is easier and less costly to produce than silicon-based cells, has won the inaugural $50,000 Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy from the University of Louisville.
Graetzel, professor and director of the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, is recognized for merging nanoscience with photoconversion by developing a dye-sensitized solar cell now known as the Graetzel cell. His cells convert sunlight into electricity using Earth-abundant materials at efficiencies approaching thin-film silicon-based cells but with dramatically lower production costs. Mass production of the cells began in 2009.
Graetzel, one of the most highly cited chemists worldwide, holds more than 50 patents and is the author of two books and more than 1200 publications. His concepts have generated hundreds of research groups and many conferences.
He will receive the Conn Prize medal and cash award next spring when he visits Louisville, the university said, when he will give a lecture about his work.
The prize, which recognizes outstanding renewable energy ideas and achievements with proven global impact, is managed by U of L's Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research. It is named for the late daughter of center supporters and prize benefactors Hank and Rebecca Conn.
Nominations for the 2014 prize will be accepted from Jan. 1 through June 1, the university said. For more information, visit: www.conncenter.org/leigh-ann-conn-prize
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