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In One Hundred, Do Not Fade, Fungi Derivative Dyes
Jul 12, 2018

Scientists are studying a fungus - derived dye "Xylindein", which may have the opportunity to become a low-cost, easily made, partially substituted silicon semiconductor material in the future of solar cells.
Optoelectronic components are widely used in today's life, such as optical fiber, light emitting diode (LED), laser (laser), photovoltaic components, solar cells and so on, and its basic principle comes from semiconductors. Among them, the core technology of solar cell is the semiconductor material that converts photons into electrons, which can be divided into monocrystalline, polysilicon and amorphous silicon.
Although silicon is the main application material for solar cells today, it is not the best material in the field of optoelectronics. If a new electronic material can improve the interaction with light, it will be a major milestone in the semiconductor industry. In order to replace the traditional silicon solar cells, the new generation of solar cells will be replaced. We are working hard, such as perovskite solar cells, CdTe thin film batteries, CIGS thin film batteries, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) and so on.

A new study by the Oregon State University (Oregon State University) physicists Oksana Ostroverkhova leadership, they began to study a kind of organic pigment called Xylindein, can be used as electronic materials play a role in the experiment.

Xylindein from green plates species (Chlorociboria) fungi, wood of this type of fungal infection can be dyed green, due to the pigments are quite stable, in a long time to resist high temperature, ultraviolet (uv) light, electric stress (electrical stress) and other violations still show a unique tonal, carpenters favourite treasure these wood, a hidden for hundreds of years.

Oksana Ostroverkhova think, if can you loose the Xylindein pigment stability of hundreds of years of secret, perhaps can solve the problem of common organic electronics.

Using the current main technology, Xylindein can form uneven film with porous structure. Researchers will Xylindein with a transparent conductive polymer PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate, acrylic), mixed with drip coating method (drop - casting) solutions of pure Xylindein solution with mixed PMMA onto the glass substrate electrode were tested respectively, found that the conductive polymers can significantly improve film structure, will not affect Xylindein electrical, show better photosensitive sex (photosensitivity).

The findings bring potential applications for solar cell industry, scientists can begin to try from cellulose extracted novel semiconductor materials. Oksana Ostroverkhova thinks, Xylindein as semiconductor material, can be applied to flexible wearable electronic devices. The new study, published in the MRS Advances journal.