• ZnO;
  • nanostructures;
  • semiconductor/dye interface;
  • flavonoid

The last years are witnesses of continuous raise in the price of traditional fuels. This fact, joined to environmental concerns and the fears concerning the inevitable oil reserves depletion, has empowered the search for new energetic sources. Organic photovoltaic cells or Grätzel cells are a solution for collecting solar energy. Searching for new materials for this type of solar cells is normally a trial-and-error procedure. Assembling components to make a solar cell in the laboratory is a difficult and expensive task. In this work, the electrochemical behaviour of flavonoids that can be used as sensitizers in solar photovoltaic cells when in contact with a given semiconductor is studied. This procedure can simplify the process of pairing a dye with a semiconductor in order to obtain optimum performance when designing new photovoltaic cells. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 32: 804–809, 2013