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Issue 16, 2017
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Choosing the right nanoparticle size – designing novel ZnO electrode architectures for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

A novel concept for constructing optimized ZnO-based photoanodes as integrative components of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is realized by deploying differently sized nanoparticles, ranging from 2 to 10 nm, together with commercially available 20 nm nanoparticles. The 2 nm nanoparticles were used to construct an efficient buffer layer for transparent electrodes based on 10 nm nanoparticles, resulting in a relative increase of device efficiency from 1.8 to 3.0% for devices without and with a buffer layer, respectively. A mixture of 10 and 20 nm nanoparticles was optimized to maximize the diffuse reflection and to minimize the charge transport resistance in a light-scattering layer. This optimization resulted in a homogenous layer of more than 15 μm that provided a device efficiency of 3.3%. The buffer layer, transparent electrode, and light-scattering electrode, were then combined to give an overall efficiency of around 5%. Thus, this work demonstrates that varying the electrode architecture with nanoparticles of different diameters is a powerful strategy for improving the overall efficiency of ZnO-based DSSCs.

Graphical abstract: Choosing the right nanoparticle size – designing novel ZnO electrode architectures for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
22 Dec 2016
Accepted
13 Mar 2017
First published
13 Mar 2017

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 7516-7522
Article type
Paper

Choosing the right nanoparticle size – designing novel ZnO electrode architectures for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells

M. W. Pfau, A. Kunzmann, D. Segets, W. Peukert, G. G. Wallace, D. L. Officer, T. Clark, R. D. Costa and D. M. Guldi, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 7516
DOI: 10.1039/C6TA11012F

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