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Issue 43, 2011
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Fabrication and characterization of plastic-based flexible dye-sensitized solar cells consisting of crystalline mesoporous titania nanoparticles as photoanodes

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Abstract

We fabricated a highly efficient (with a solar-to-electricity conversion efficiency (η) of 5.51%), plastic-based, flexible dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). The photoanode was made of a crystalline mesoporous TiO2 film using a low-temperature electrophoretic deposition (EPD) process and compression treatment. The crystalline mesoporous TiO2 film was composed of secondary mesoporous TiO2 nanoparticles (MTNs, ca. 260 nm in size), synthesized by an aggregation of primary TiO2 nanocrystallites. In contrast to commercial TiO2 nanoparticles (i.e., P90, ca. 15.9 nm in size) that are widely used in DSSCs, the synthesized MTN-based film exhibited a higher surface area and porosity that increased dye adsorption, promoted effective electron transport, and enhanced light scattering, as evidenced by analysis of reflectance and absorbance spectra, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We also optimized the compression pressure for MTN- and P90-based DSSCs in order to achieve maximum efficiency. We further systematically investigated the cause for the enhanced conversion efficiency of MTN-based DSSCs by measuring incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiency (IPCE) curves and electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS). IPCE results explained the increase in the short-circuit photocurrent density (JSC) for MTN-based DSSCs, and EIS results indicated that MTN-based DSSCs exhibited a larger diffusion coefficient (Deff), longer effective diffusion length (Ln), longer electron lifetime (τe), and lower charge transfer resistance (Rk), resulting in a higher power conversion efficiency. The MTN-based DSSC fabricated in the study showed great potential for application in plastic-based DSSCs using room temperature procedures.

Graphical abstract: Fabrication and characterization of plastic-based flexible dye-sensitized solar cells consisting of crystalline mesoporous titania nanoparticles as photoanodes

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
27 Jun 2011
Accepted
01 Sep 2011
First published
05 Oct 2011

J. Mater. Chem., 2011,21, 17511-17518
Article type
Paper

Fabrication and characterization of plastic-based flexible dye-sensitized solar cells consisting of crystalline mesoporous titania nanoparticles as photoanodes

H. Chen, Y. Liao, J. Chen, K. C.-W. Wu and K. Ho, J. Mater. Chem., 2011, 21, 17511
DOI: 10.1039/C1JM12980E

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