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Issue 12, 2013
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Hybrid electrolytes prepared from ionic liquid-grafted alumina for high-efficiency quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

Alumina (Al2O3) nanoparticles were covalently surface-modified with an ionic liquid (IL) to improve their miscibility with ILs such as 1-methyl-3-propylimidazolium iodide (MPII). Hybrids consisting of MPII and the surface-modified IL-Al2O3 nanoparticles were utilized as an I2-free electrolyte for quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The synthesis and properties of the IL-Al2O3 nanoparticles and hybrid electrolytes were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, UV-visible spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The viscosity of the electrolyte continuously increased with the content of IL-Al2O3, and the fluidity almost disappeared completely when the MPII:IL-Al2O3 weight ratio was 95 : 5 or 90 : 10. The energy conversion efficiencies of DSSCs fabricated with IL-Al2O3 were always greater than those with pristine Al2O3. Such a finding is due to the favorable interactions and good miscibility between MPII and IL-Al2O3, which in turn results in the formation of an interconnected channel pathway for ion transport. Incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiency (IPCE), intensity modulated photocurrent spectroscopy (IMPS)/intensity-modulated photovoltage spectroscopy (IMVS), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements were used to investigate the interfacial properties and electron transport characteristics. Upon utilizing double-layer structures with mesoporous TiO2 beads, the efficiency increased to 7.6% at 100 mW cm−2, one of the highest values reported for quasi-solid-state DSSCs.

Graphical abstract: Hybrid electrolytes prepared from ionic liquid-grafted alumina for high-efficiency quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Jan 2013, accepted on 18 Mar 2013 and first published on 21 Mar 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR00291H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2013,5, 5341-5348
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    Hybrid electrolytes prepared from ionic liquid-grafted alumina for high-efficiency quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells

    W. S. Chi, D. K. Roh, S. J. Kim, S. Y. Heo and J. H. Kim, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 5341
    DOI: 10.1039/C3NR00291H

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