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Peccell Develops High-Voltage, Film-Type Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell --To Work with SDK in Development of Titania Paste Technology--

September 15, 2004

Peccell Technologies, Inc. (Peccell), developer of a film-type dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC), has achieved a high voltage of over 4V—equivalent to that of a lithium ion battery—under illumination. The electrode of the DSC is made of titanium oxide paste, which is based on fine particles of titanium oxide supplied by SDK. The paste is applicable to both film-type DSCs for portable applications and conventional glass-substrate DSCs.

Peccell, based in Yokohama City and led by Prof. Tsutomu Miyasaka, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Toin University of Yokohama, was established in March 2004 for the development of DSC-related technologies.

So far, Prof. Miyasaka has cooperated with SDK by evaluating SDK’s titanium oxide fine particles and giving advice to SDK. And SDK invested in Peccell at the time of its establishment. This time, Peccell and SDK have agreed that Peccell will license its patented titanium oxide paste technology to SDK, and SDK will commence commercial production at reduced costs and start selling the paste. The two have also agreed to cooperate in the development of the paste technology to increase speed and efficiency.

SDK has developed a new technology that enables nano-scale control of primary particle sizes of titanium oxide, producing fine particles of any size between 10 and 500 nm. The very fine particles have a large surface area, enabling a great quantity of dye to be adsorbed on the particle surface. Furthermore, the specially designed titanium oxide structure ensures smooth electron flow and electrolyte diffusion inside the film.

In DSC, a flow of excited electrons, which results from the absorption of sunlight by dye, is led to electrodes made of semiconductor particles, including titanium oxide, thereby causing electromotive force (photon-to-electron conversion). DSC is characterized by its low cost and high performance.

In particular, a film-type DSC offers the advantages of lightweight, safety and flexibility. As a film-type DSC is foldable and can be processed into various shapes and colorful bodies, depending on the kind of dye used, it is attracting much attention as a next-generation solar cell to replace conventional silicon-based solar cells.

A film-type DSC is expected to be used as power source for portable IT devices (cellular phones, PDA), for household goods (interior, exterior), and for outdoor applications (displays; automotive, agricultural and environmental goods). The first commercial application will be power source for portable IT devices. In case a 10% market share is achieved in Japan, the size of the market for film-type DSCs will amount to around ¥20 billion a year.

Peccell is planning to begin shipment of film-type DSC samples in 2006.

For further information, contact: Peccell (Phone: 81-45-974-5656) PR & IR Group, SDK (Phone: 81-3-5470-3235) Marketing Department II, Ceramics Division, SDK (Phone: 81-45-453-5125)

[Reference]

Outline of Peccell Technologies, Inc.

Head office: 1614, Kurogane-cho, Aoba-ku, Yokohama
President: Dr. Tsutomu Miyasaka, Professor, Toin University of Yokohama
Establishment: March 2004
Major shareholders: Toin University of Yokohama 34%
Prof. Miyasaka 11%
SDK 11%
Kojima Chemicals Co., Ltd. 11%
Fujimori Kogyo Co., Ltd. 11%
Scope of business: R&D and sales of photon-to-electron conversion elements, their components, and optical functional materials; performance evaluation tests at clients’ request

(Above, left) A film-type DSC (of a business card size, weighing 2.5 g and measuring 400 µm in thickness; 0.7 V in open circuit voltage)
(Above, right) A 4V-class film-type DSC module (12 cm x 12 cm, weighing 15 g and measuring approx. 500 µm in thickness; max. 4.3 V in open circuit voltage; approx. 30 mA in current value at 0.25 sun) The picture shows voltage under illumination with 27W fluorescent lighting.
(Below, left) A transmission electron microscope (TEM) photo of titanium oxide fine particles