Development of high efficiency 100% aqueous cobalt electrolyte dye-sensitised solar cells†
In this study we report the application of three cobalt redox shuttles in 100% aqueous electrolyte dye-sensitised solar cells (DSCs). By using chloride as a counter-ion for cobalt bipyridine, cobalt phenanthroline and cobalt bipyridine pyrazole, the redox shuttles were made water soluble; no surfactant or further treatment was necessary. A simple system of merely the redox shuttles and 1-methylbenzimidazole (MBI) in water as an electrolyte in combination with an organic dye and a mesoporous PEDOT counter electrode was optimised. The optimisation resulted in an average efficiency of 5.5% (record efficiency of 5.7%) at 1 sun. The results of this study present promising routes for further improvements of aqueous cobalt electrolyte DSCs.