UW MRSEC

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Exploring the Nano World

Resources for educators developed by the University of Wisconsin MRSEC. (high school level)

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Dye Sensitized (Raspberry Juice) Solar Cell, photo by Rashmi Nanjundaswamy for NISE Network

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Dye Sensitized (Raspberry Juice) Solar Cell

Dye Sensitized (Raspberry Juice)Solar Cells is a hands-on activity adapted for classroom by UW MRSEC. This solar cell was invented by Michael Grätzel and Brian O'Regan at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in 1991. They are also known as Grätzel cells. In this activity students build a dye-sensitized solar cell using nanocrystalline titanium dioxide and raspberry juice. They then test the response of these solar cells to light (overhead projector or sun light). They also explore the effects of different 'dyes' on the performance of the solar cell.

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Liquid Crystals

"Liquid Crystals" is a group of hands-on activities and experiments developed at UW-MRSEC that explore how liquid crystals change color as their temperature changes. There are instructions for preparing liquid crystal mixtures, a thermometer and a pixel. There is also background information about how liquid crystals work. Teacher's guides, transparencies and student worksheets are included for the activities.

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