The Solar Spark

The Solar Spark educational resources are produced by the SUPERGEN Excitonic Solar Cells Consortium. This is a group of research scientists from eight UK universities working together to do scientific research on Excitonic Solar Cells. Researchers work in the areas of polymer solar cells, dye-sensitised solar cells and tandem cells. They explore lots of relevant chemistry, physics and engineering behind the structure and design of these cells. The educational resources in this collection include practical activities that illustrate how solar photovoltaic cells work, future applications and the need for sustainable energy.



Showing 18 result(s)

Condensation Polymerisation

Produced by Solar Spark, this activity allows students to see a condensation polymerisation reaction in action as the polyamide polymer, Nylon, is produced. This is a condensation polymer made of two parent monomers, a di-amine and a di-acid chloride.

The reaction can be used to illustrate:

Electrochemical Writing

From Solar Spark, this practical activity explores the reactions at electrodes in an electrical circuit. A solar cell contains two electrodes. Different reactions happen at each electrode so that electrons can move around the circuit to give an electric current. In this experiment students use filter paper soaked...

Magic Dye

This activity, produced by Solar Spark, uses "magic dye", a mixture of three different dye molecules. The mixture contains a yellow disperse dye, a direct blue dye and an acid red dye. When a fabric is put into the mixture, the dyes only attach to the types of fabrics they can bond well with. For example, the blue...

Make a Graetzel Solar Cell

Produced by Solar Spark, this activity allows students to make a photovoltaic cell in the school laboratory. A solar cell uses light from the sun to produce electricity. A type of solar cell, called a dye-sensitised solar cell (DSSC), can be made. This type of cell is cheaper than other solar cells, and is now...