The current global energy crisis calls for an urgent effort for new development of alternative energy technologies. Thailand has also been affected by the crisis, as evidenced by the soaring oil prices and higher cost of consumer products and services. Several measures have been suggested and implemented to relieve the situation, such as the campaign for biofuels and the use of natural gas in place of gasoline. However, the most sensible approach toward long-term remedy for the energy crisis is not only to promote select set of solutions over the others, but also to invest in a broader range of high-potential technologies.
The Center of Sustainable Energy and Green Materials at the Faculty of Science, Mahidol University was established in 2006 to advance a coherent drive in basic research for new development of alternative energy technologies. Our initial research focus is directed toward the areas of biofuel catalyst, fuel cell, and particularly solar cell, which forms our primary effort. The emphasis in solar cell rests on the development of dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) because of its promise for a large-scale application in the country. The remarkable benefits that merit scientific investment into the DSSC development lie in the relatively low cost of nontoxic cell materials, the ease of cell assembling process, and the flexible operating conditions of the cell. Our research topics in DSSC include:
- Development of new flexible plastic substrate.
- Study of ligands and conjugation system of the dye.
- Investigation for new organic dyes.
- Improvement of semiconductor materials.
- Development of electrolyte systems.
- Development of new flexible plastic substrate: TiO2 coating on the ITO-plastic surface.
- Study of ligands and conjugation system of N3 dye.
- Structural modification of naphthalene derivatives and synthesis of new organic dye.
- New preparation of PEI-based nanoparticles for conventional liquid and polymer electrolyte systems.