Wednesday, August 23, 2006

US Patent 7094441 - Low Temperature Interconnection of Nanoparticles

Gratzel cells are special solar cells which use organic dye and nanoscale titanium dioxide to obtain electrical current from light. One limitation of these solar cells is that high temperatures are necessary (>400 C) to provide interconnection between the nanoparticles during fabrication. These high temperatures limit the substrate material on which the cells are formed to rigid materials such as glass. However, the ability to form solar cells on flexible materials would allow the cells to be more easily incorporated in a wider variety of applications. This patent uses a polymeric linking agent to form the cells which in some examples may provide interconnections at room temperature.

1. A method of interconnecting nanoparticles at low temperature, the method comprising the steps of: providing a solution comprising a polymeric linking agent having a backbone structure which includes the formula -[A-O--].sub.m- and a solvent; wherein A is a metal and m is an integer greater than zero; and contacting a plurality of metal oxide nanoparticles with the solution at a temperature below about C. to interconnect at least a portion of the plurality of metal oxide nanoparticles.