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Issue 36, 2012
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UV-cross-linked block copolymers for initiator-free, controlled in situ gelation of electrolytes in dye-sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

In this work, a block copolymer as an initiator- and monomer-free UV-cross-linked component for the controlled in situ gelation of electrolytes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is proposed. This block copolymer consists of one block of p-hydroxystyrene units and the other block with poly(ethylene oxide-co-propylene oxide) side chains. This block copolymer is successfully prepared by means of nitroxide-mediated polymerization, imidization reactions and successive hydrolysis reactions. When a homogeneous mixture of this copolymer and a typical liquid electrolyte (LE) is irradiated with UV, the cross-linking is efficient and controlled. The electrolyte in the DSSCs transforms in situ to a gel polymer electrolyte when exposed to UV, affording DSSCs with a relatively high initial solar-to-electricity energy conversion efficiency (η) and improved long-term stability that is significantly greater than that of the DSSCs with LE. These results demonstrate that the electrolyte system containing the UV-cross-linked block copolymer improves the long-term performance of DSSCs and contributes to the development of efficient and stable DSSCs.

Graphical abstract: UV-cross-linked block copolymers for initiator-free, controlled in situ gelation of electrolytes in dye-sensitized solar cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Apr 2012, accepted on 05 Jul 2012 and first published on 06 Jul 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2JM32526H
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2012,22, 18854-18863
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    UV-cross-linked block copolymers for initiator-free, controlled in situ gelation of electrolytes in dye-sensitized solar cells

    S. C. Hong, N. U. Nguyen-Thai, S. B. Hong and P. Kang, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 18854
    DOI: 10.1039/C2JM32526H

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