One honor after another for Michael Grätzel-after consecrating thirty years to the development of dye-sensitized solar cells, the chemist and professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is among the ten most-cited scientists in the world. And now he has just been awarded the Millennium Technology Prize in Helsinki, one of the most prestigious awards for scientific excellence at a sum of 800,000 Euros.
Inspired by photosynthesis, this unique form of solar cells has only recently been commercialized. These dyed-sensitized solar cells cost less to produce than conventional silica based cells and are also more versatile, making them one of the most promising technologies in the field of renewable energy. Michaël Grätzel has also worked on improving next-generation li-on batteries by making them safer and more efficient and solar energy storage using hydrogen extraction-unlocking a potent carbon-free energy source that could one day replace petrol.
Instituted in 2004, the Millennium Technology Prize is one of the most widely-followed award in the field. Given by the Technology Academy Finland, a composition of Finnish government and industry, the award is for innovative applied science that contributes directly to the well-being of all. By awarding its highest honor to Michael Grätzel, the jury shows its firm confidence in the future of the dye-sensitized cells also known as Grätzel cells.