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RECOGNISING OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN ENERGY

The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

The laureate’s tour of the Global Energy Prize 2017: a series of performances by Michael Graetzel began with South Korea

Within the framework of the laureate’s tour of the Global Energy Prize in 2017, Michael Graetzel spoke at the 6th Sungkyun International Solar Forum 2017 (South Korea, Seoul). The scientist spoke about the progress achieved in the work on his invention - solar cells, which simulates the process of photosynthesis and are able to accumulate energy regardless of the angle of the sun's fall, with an efficiency from 15 to 28.9%. He also presented the development of a new class of devices that appeared due to these elements.

Recall that the laureate’s tour of the Global Energy Prize is a thematic series of speeches by world-famous scientists, within which they talk about their developments recognized by a prize. This new initiative was launched by the Global Energy Association in late 2016 in Moscow, on the eve of the 15th anniversary of the project. The first country to host the laureate this year was South Korea. For Michael Graetzel, who received the award in June 2017, this was also the first performance in the title of laureate of the Global Energy Prize.

Speaking at the plenary lecture of the 6th Sungkyun International Solar Forum 2017, the scientist spoke in detail about his main discovery, named in his honor - about the Graetzel cells. It is known that such cells began to enter production only in 2009. The scientist explained that at the first stage they had low efficiency indicators of 3-8% and low stability due to the presence of unstable liquid electrolyte and organic dye within the cells. Constantly working to increase their efficiency, Michael Graetzel achieved the following indicators: under bright sunlight, Graetzel's elements work with an efficiency of 15%, and in diffused light (in cloudy weather or indoors) this figure reaches to 28.9%. Thus, they are able to operate at different frequency ranges of the light flux, up to infrared.

In addition, researchers in the laboratory of Professor Graetzel worked to switch from an organic dye to organo-inorganic perovskite materials, and replace the liquid electrolyte with a solid organic semiconductor.

"As a result, a new technology was born on the basis of new materials, which had a high theoretical potential for efficiency and the ability to rapidly improve the efficiency of the device. After explosive growth of activity in this area, in recent years it has been possible to go from efficiency from 9.7% to 22.1%, "the scientist notes. In comparison with silicon batteries, Graetzel cells are relatively simple in the device and are made of inexpensive materials.

The Sungkyun International Solar Forum is an annual event, which traditionally raises issues related to photovoltaics, perovskite solar cells, and organic-inorganic halide perovskites. This year, special attention is paid to the properties of perovskites: resistive memory, light-emitting diode, X-ray image and optoelectronics.

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