Stability of dye-sensitized solar cells under extended thermal stress†
In the last few decades, dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) technology has been demonstrated to be a promising candidate for low cost energy production due to cost-effective materials and fabrication processes. Arguably, DSC stability is the biggest challenge for making this technology appealing for industrial exploitation. This work provides further insight into the stability of DSCs by considering specific dye–electrolyte systems characterized by Raman and impedance spectroscopy analysis. In particular, two ruthenium-based dyes, Z907 and Ru505, and two commercially available electrolytes, namely, the high stability electrolyte (HSE) and solvent-free Livion 12 (L-12), were tested. After 4700 h of thermal stress at 85 °C, the least stable device composed of Z907/HSE showed an efficiency degradation rate of ∼14%/1000 h, while the Ru505/L-12 system retained 96% of its initial efficiency by losing ∼1% each 1000 h. The present results show a viable route to stabilize the DSC technology under prolonged annealing conditions complying with the IEC standard requirements.