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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)