Optimizing CuO p-type dye-sensitized solar cells by using a comprehensive electrochemical impedance spectroscopic study
We introduce a novel and comprehensive approach for the evaluation and interpretation of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements in p-type DSSCs. In detail, we correlate both the device performance and EIS figures-of-merit of a series of devices in which, the calcination temperature, film thickness, and electrolyte concentration have been systematically modified. This new approach enables the separation of the different processes across the dye/semiconductor/electrolyte interface, namely the unfavorable charge recombination and the favorable electron injection/regeneration processes. In addition, studies on non-sensitized CuO and NiO electrodes provide insights into their affinity towards a reaction with the electrolyte – CuO is far less reactive towards the polyiodide species. Overall, this work underlines the superior features of CuO with respect to NiO for p-DSSCs and demonstrates a comprehensive optimization of the CuO-based DSSCs with respect to the device architecture by the aid of EIS analysis.