Metal substrate based electrodes for flexible dye-sensitized solar cells: fabrication methods, progress and challenges
A step towards commercialization of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) requires more attention to engineering aspects, such as flexibility, the roll to roll fabrication process, the use of cost effective materials, etc. In this aspect, advantages of flexible DSSCs attracted many researchers to contemplate the transparent conducting oxide coated flexible plastic substrates and the thin metallic foils. In this feature article, the pros and cons of these two kinds of substrates are compared. The flexible dye-sensitized solar cells fabricated using metal substrates are briefly discussed. The working electrodes of DSSCs fabricated on various metal substrates, their fabrication methods, the effect of high temperature calcination and drawbacks of back illumination are reviewed in detail. A few reports on the flexible metal substrate based counter electrodes that could be combined with the plastic substrate based working electrodes are also covered at the end.