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Issue 6, 2011
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Organic ionic plastic crystal electrolytes; a new class of electrolyte for high efficiency solid state dye-sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

Dye-sensitized solar cells are an increasingly promising alternative to conventional silicon solar cells as a method of converting solar energy to electricity and thus providing an effectively inexhaustible energy source. However, the most efficient of these devices currently utilize liquid electrolytes, which suffer from the associated problems of leakage and evaporation. Hence, significant research is currently focused on the development of solid state alternatives. Here we report a new class of solid state electrolyte for these devices, organic ionic plastic crystal electrolytes, that allow relatively rapid diffusion of the redox couple through the matrix, which is critical to the cell performance. A range of different organic ionic plastic crystal materials, utilizing different cation and anion structures, have been investigated and the conductivities, diffusion rates and photovoltaic performance of the electrolytes are reported. The best material, utilizing the dicyanamide anion, achieves efficiencies of more than 5%.

Graphical abstract: Organic ionic plastic crystal electrolytes; a new class of electrolyte for high efficiency solid state dye-sensitized solar cells

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
19 Jan 2011
Accepted
01 Apr 2011
First published
03 May 2011

Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 2234-2239
Article type
Paper

Organic ionic plastic crystal electrolytes; a new class of electrolyte for high efficiency solid state dye-sensitized solar cells

V. Armel, M. Forsyth, D. R. MacFarlane and J. M. Pringle, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 2234
DOI: 10.1039/C1EE01062J

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