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Projects >> Education >> Solar Cell Kits >> Coat Glass

Teachers Coating Their Own Glass Plates with TiO2


Building the Solar Cell requires a conductive glass plate which has been coated with Titanium Dioxide (TiO). Teachers may perform the coating of the glass plates, using the procedures described in the references at the end of this page.

Depositing the nanocrystalline TiO film requires the preparation of a solution containing commercial colloidal TiO powder, the masking of a cleaned conductive glass plate, and the application and distribution of the solution on the conductive glass plate, followed by the sintering of the resulting thin film layer. The following photographs illustrate the steps in this procedure.

Grinding Nanocrystalline TiO2 Powder  

Grinding Nanocrystalline Ti0 Degussa P25 Powder in mortar and pestle while adding solvent.

Spreading TiO2 solution with glass rod  

Using glass rod to spread Ti0 solution on masked conductive glass.

Firing TiO2 film  

Firing Ti0 film at tip of flame (450 degrees Centigrade) for 10-15 minutes. Staining with dye will take place after cooling. All of these procedures should not be attempted without the help and guidance of an adult who understands basic chemical safety practices.


For more information on the procedure, see:

  • Greg P. Smestad and Michael Graetzel, "Demonstrating Electron Transfer and Nanotechnology: A Natural Dye-Sensitized Nanocrystalline Energy Converter," Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 75, pp 752-756, June 1998. See the online version of the abstract of this article, or download the 1.3MB PDF file of the entire article. (Requires Adobe Acrobat reader - See Note.)

  • Greg P. Smestad, "Education and solar conversion: Demonstrating electron transfer", Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol. 55, Pgs. 157-178, 1998. Download the 62K PDF file of the abstract of this article. (Requires Adobe Acrobat reader - See Note.)

  • N.J. Cherapy, G.P. Smestad, M. Graetzel and J.Z. Zhang, "Ultrafast Electron Injection: Implication for a photoelectrochemical Cell Utilizing an Anthocyanin Dye-Sensitized TiO Nanocrystalline Electrode," Journal of Physical Chemistry B, Vol. 101, No. 45, Pgs. 9342 - 9351, Nov. 6, 1997. Download a 540K PDF file of this document. (Requires Adobe Acrobat reader - See Note.)


Note: To read PDF files you will need the Adobe Acrobat reader, which can be downloaded free from the Adobe web site.


Learn more about the Nanocrystalline Solar Cell Kit developed by Greg Smestad and marketed by ICE.


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