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Improving the mass transport of copper-complex redox mediators in dye-sensitized solar cells by reducing the inter-electrode distance
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström. IPN, CINVESTAV, Dept Fis Aplicada, Merida 97310, Yucatan, Mexico..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Physical Chemistry.
IPN, CINVESTAV, Dept Fis Aplicada, Merida 97310, Yucatan, Mexico..
IPN, CINVESTAV, Dept Fis Aplicada, Merida 97310, Yucatan, Mexico..
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2017 (English)In: Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics - PCCP, ISSN 1463-9076, E-ISSN 1463-9084, Vol. 19, no 47, p. 32132-32142Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this work, we study the influence of the distance between electrodes on the performance of dye-sensitized solar cells based on TiO2 using the organic dye LEG4 and a Cu(dmp)(2) redox couple (dmp = dimethyl phenantroline). The solar cells are characterized by a large open circuit voltage of up to 1.03 V, and an efficiency of 8.2% has been achieved for a 5.3 mm thick TiO2 film using an epoxy resin-based sealed cell configuration with a minimal separation between electrodes. Transient short-circuit photocurrent measurements up to an intensity of 3 Suns show a significant decay in photocurrent after an initial peak current upon switching on the light for larger distance, resulting in a lower steady state photocurrent. For the smaller distance cells, the steady state photocurrent is linear with light intensity up to 2 Suns. Charge extraction measurements under short-circuit conditions show that reducing the distance between electrodes increases the electron collection efficiency and thus, the attainable photocurrent. Recombination losses increase with larger electrode separation distance and higher light intensity due to mass transport limitation of the redox mediator. Electrochemical impedance measurements confirm the effect of electrode distance on the redox couple transport, showing an additional loop with increasing distance. For the configuration where the TiO2 film is in very close proximity to the PEDOT-covered counter electrode, inductive behavior is observed at low frequencies. The inductive behavior disappears with the incorporation of an insulating porous ZrO2 layer. The equivalent circuit for the solar cell has been expanded to include this effect.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 19, no 47, p. 32132-32142
National Category
Physical Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-343893DOI: 10.1039/c7cp06088bISI: 000417295800064PubMedID: 29182690OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-343893DiVA, id: diva2:1187618
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencySwedish Research CouncilKnut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationStandUpAvailable from: 2018-03-05 Created: 2018-03-05 Last updated: 2018-08-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Overcoming the Mass Transport Limitations of Dye-Sensitised Solar Cells: Towards highly efficient and robust alternative redox mediator electrolyte DSSCs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Overcoming the Mass Transport Limitations of Dye-Sensitised Solar Cells: Towards highly efficient and robust alternative redox mediator electrolyte DSSCs
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSCs) have been subject to decadelong research interest, and may have some potential niche market applications. Recently, major advances in power conversion efficiencies have been achieved following the transition to cobalt polypyridine based redox mediators. Unfortunately, these champion devices remained unfeasible for commercialisation due to heavy reliance on flammable volatile acetonitrile electrolytes. Overcoming this issue has been a challenge due to increased mass transport limitations, which are especially exacerbated in more stable albeit viscous electrolytes. The overall aim of this thesis is to better understand the contributing factors to mass transport, and then to develop practical solutions to overcome these limitations. In particular, specific mass transport limitations pertaining to the bulk electrolyte medium and electrolyte-infiltrated TiO2 medium, are investigated. The effect of non-uniform photogeneration profile across the photoanode is explored with respect to mass transport using photocurrent transient techniques. Practical devices engineering for optimal mass transport is explored in terms of minimising the inter-electrode spacing and maximising light absorption towards the electrolyte-electrode side. Alternative devices based on more practical electrolytes with higher viscosity are optimised for high efficiency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 65
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1705
Keywords
Dye-sensitised solar cell, dye-sensitized solar cell, photoelectrochemical cell, cobalt tris(bipyridine), mass transport, photocurrent transients
National Category
Physical Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357399 (URN)978-91-513-0408-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-10-05, Room 2001, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-09-11 Created: 2018-08-16 Last updated: 2018-10-02

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Jiang, RogerBoschloo, Gerrit

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