Towards Mixed Molecular Layers for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells: A Photoelectron Spectroscopy Study
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The increasing demand for renewable energy has led to substantial research on different solar cell technologies. The dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) is a technology utilizing dye molecules for light absorption. Dye molecules are adsorbed to a mesoporous semiconductor surface and after light absorption in the dye, charge separation occurs at this interface. Traditionally, DSCs have used layers of single dye species, but in recent efforts to enhance power conversion efficiency, more complex molecular layers have been designed to increase the light absorption. For example, the most efficient DSCs use a combination of two dye molecules, and such dye co-adsorption is studied in this thesis.
A key to highly efficient DSCs is to understand the dye/semiconductor interface from a molecular perspective. One way of gaining this understanding is by using an element specific, surface sensitive technique, such as photoelectron spectroscopy (PES).
In this thesis, PES is used to understand new complex dye/semiconductor interfaces. Dyes adsorbed to semiconductor surfaces are analyzed using PES in terms of geometric and electronic surface structure. The investigations ultimately target the effects of co-adsorbing dyes with other dyes or co-adsorbents.
PES shows that Ru dyes can adsorb in mixed configurations to TiO2. Co-adsorption with an organic dye affects the configuration of the Ru dyes. As a consequence, shifts in energy level alignment and increased dye coverage are observed. The dyes are affected at a molecular level in ways beneficial for solar cell performance. This is called collaborative sensitization and is also observed in todays most efficient DSC.
Dye molecules are generally sensitive to high temperatures and the substantial decrease in power conversion efficiency after heat-treatment can be understood using PES. Furthermore, comparing two mesoscopic TiO2 morphologies used in DSCs show differences in trap state density in the band gap, explaining the photovoltage difference in DSCs comprising these morphologies. Using mixed molecular layers on NiO results in significant improvements of p-type DSC power conversion efficiency. PES shows that changed adsorption configuration contribute to this effect.
This thesis shows that PES studies can be used to obtain insight into functional properties of complex DSC interfaces at a molecular level.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. , 81 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1409
dye-sensitized solar cell, DSC, mesoscopic solar cell, photoelectron spectroscopy, PES, XPS, interface, TiO2, NiO, co-adsorption, co-adsorbent, collaborative sensitization, mixed molecular layers
Condensed Matter Physics
Research subject Physics with spec. in Atomic, Molecular and Condensed Matter Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-301164ISBN: 978-91-554-9664-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-301164DiVA: diva2:953821
2016-10-06, Häggsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Öhrwall, Gunnar, Docent
Rensmo, Håkan, ProfessorJohansson, Erik, DocentHagfeldt, Anders, Professor
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