Effects of controlled surface treatment on titanium dioxide electrode nanostructure for dye-sensitized solar cells

Philip Edward Heil, Hyunmin Kang, Hyungsoo Choi, Kyekyoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A stable surface treatment for the nanoporous TiO2 electrode of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) has been developed via sol-gel processing of titanium(IV) isopropoxide (TiP), enabling controllable performance improvements, which has been hitherto unachievable. A systematic study of the electrode chemistry and morphology was performed to examine the mechanisms by which the treatment contributes to enhancement in DSC performance. The electrode exhibited a linear increase in mass with TiP concentration and a corresponding reduction in porosity. The increase in nanoparticle diameter resulted in the increase in surface area without altering the surface chemistry, leading to an increase in dye loading. Current-voltage characteristics and incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiencies (IPCE) were analyzed. A linear increase in the short-circuit photocurrent was measured with TiP concentration, increasing by 30 % for a 4 mM TiP treatment, which resulted in a corresponding efficiency gain of 23 %. This was found to primarily result from a controllable increase in the charge collection efficiency, via a 30 % faster electron transport time and a 19 % increase in the electron lifetime. The results elucidate the underlying physical mechanisms for improvement in DSC performance by surface treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-380
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Volume112
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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