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A small electron donor in cobalt complex electrolyte significantly improves efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Physical Chemistry.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Physical Chemistry. (Gerrit Boschloo)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3440-9416
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Physical Chemistry.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Physical Chemistry.
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2016 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 7, 13934Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Photoelectrochemical approach to solar energy conversion demands a kinetic optimization of various light-induced electron transfer processes. Of great importance are the redox mediator systems accomplishing the electron transfer processes at the semiconductor/electrolyte interface, therefore affecting profoundly the performance of various photoelectrochemical cells. Here, we develop a strategy-by addition of a small organic electron donor, tris(4-methoxyphenyl)amine, into state-of-art cobalt tris(bipyridine) redox electrolyte-to significantly improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. The developed solar cells exhibit efficiency of 11.7 and 10.5%, at 0.46 and one-sun illumination, respectively, corresponding to a 26% efficiency improvement compared with the standard electrolyte. Preliminary stability tests showed the solar cell retained 90% of its initial efficiency after 250 h continuous one-sun light soaking. Detailed mechanistic studies reveal the crucial role of the electron transfer cascade processes within the new redox system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 7, 13934
National Category
Physical Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-310194DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13934ISI: 000390223200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-310194DiVA: diva2:1055481
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Energy AgencyKnut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationStiftelsen Olle Engkvist Byggmästare
Note

Yan Hao and Wenxing Yang contributed equally to this work.

Available from: 2016-12-12 Created: 2016-12-12 Last updated: 2017-02-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exploring Electronic Processes at the Mesoporous TiO2/Dye/Electrolyte Interface
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Electronic Processes at the Mesoporous TiO2/Dye/Electrolyte Interface
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are an attractive way to convert light into electricity. Its development requires a detailed understanding and kinetic optimization of various electronic processes, especially those occurring at the mesoporous TiO2/dye/electrolyte interface. This dissertation work is focused on the exploration of the various electronic processes at the sensitized-electrode/electrolyte interface by using various electrochemical and photochemical methods.

Firstly, an alternative redox couple—TEMPO/TEMPO·+ with a relatively high positive redox potential—is explored, aiming to reduce the energy loss during the dye regeneration process. Despite the fast dye regeneration, the charge recombination between the electrons in the conduction band of mesoporous TiO2 and the oxidized redox species is found to be the limiting factor of the device. Further, a more efficient tandem-electrolyte system is developed, leading to DSSCs with the power conversion efficiency of 10.5 % and 11.7 % at 1 sun and 0.5-sun illumination, respectively. An electron-transfer cascade process during dye regeneration by the redox mediators is discovered to be beneficial. Further stability studies on the device suggest the crucial role of TiO2/dye/electrolyte interfaces in the long-term stability of cobalt bipyridyl electrolyte-based DSSCs.

On the fundamental level, the local electric field and Stark effects at the TiO2/dye/electrolyte interface are investigated in various aspects—including the charge compensation mechanism, the factors affecting the electric field strength, as well as its impact on charge transfer kinetics. These results give further insights about the TiO2/dye/electrolyte interface, and contribute to the further development and understanding of DSSCs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 86 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1464
Keyword
dye-sensitized solar cells, dye regeneration, Stark effect, the local electric field, cationic effect
National Category
Physical Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-310191 (URN)978-91-554-9780-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-02-10, Häggsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2017-01-16 Created: 2016-12-12 Last updated: 2017-01-17

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