Enhanced photoresponse in dye-sensitized solar cells via localized surface plasmon resonance through highly stable nickel nanoparticles†
We demonstrated the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) effect of Ni nanoparticles (NiNPs) on the performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Our study revealed that NiNPs in a conventional I−/I3− electrolyte (NiNPs@I−/I3−) increased the net optical absorption of a N719 dye over a broad wavelength range by LSPR, and concurrently improved the power conversion efficiency (PCE) in DSSCs. At an optimized concentration of the NiNPs@I−/I3− electrolyte (1 mg mL−1), N719-sensitized DSSCs with a photoanode thickness of ca. 2, 5, and 10 μm, exhibited net PCEs of 2.32, 6.02, and 9.83%, respectively. These efficiencies were consistent with a net improvement of 43.2, 20.4, and 12.7%, respectively and were mainly attributed to a significant enhancement of the short circuit current density (Jsc) by the LSPR from the NiNPs. Similar effects were observed for cells sensitized by the N3, Ru505, and Z907 dyes. Furthermore, the NiNPs exhibited excellent resistance to corrosion from a conventional I−/I3− electrolyte over a period of 60 days.