Professor Michael Grätzel will be presented with the 2012 Albert Einstein World Award Of Science from the World Cultural Council for his invention and further development of Dye Solar Cell (DSC) technology.
Dye Solar Cells are constructed from low-cost materials and don’t require elaborate manufacturing equipment. The process by which they generate power is often referred to as artificial photosynthesis.
Professor Grätzel, Director of the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, joins previous notable recipients of the award, including several Nobel laureates.
The Award dates back over 25 years and was created as a way of recognising those who have accomplished scientific and technological achievements that have “brought progress to science and ensuing benefit to mankind”.
Commenting on the selection of Professor Gratzel, the World Cultural Council said he had contributed to the “welfare of mankind and the health of the planet, solving arguably one of the most important technical problems relating to energy and sustainability that we face today through a major contribution, namely the development of the dye-sensitised solar cell, known as the DSC or Grätzel Cell.”
Also the recipient of the prestigious 2010 Millennium Prize for his invention and ongoing research into Dye Solar Cells, Professor Grätzel has also received the 2001 Faraday Medal , the 2001 Dutch Havinga Award, the 2004 Italgas Prize, the 2005 Gerischer Prize, the Harvey Prize from Technion in 2007 and the 2009 Balzan Prize for the Science of New Materials.
In addition to his Switzerland post and other activities, Professor Grätzel was also appointed the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Energy Research Institute at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) last year.
According to Wikipedia, Professor Grätzel is the author of over 800 publications, two books and inventor or co-inventor of more than 50 patents.
Dye Solar Cell technology is rapidly evolving – in December last year, we reported on a new dye that will allow cells to more efficiently harvest ambient and direct sunlight.