Functionalized Carboxylate Deposition for rapid sensitization of dye-sensitized solar cells

Venkataiah Mallam, Sanjib Baral, Santosh Gyawali, Robert P. Oda, Hytham Elbohy, Jeevan Nepal, Qiquan Qiao, Mahdi Farrokh Baroughi, Brian A. Logue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current state-of-the-art dye loading process for modern dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), essentially unchanged for the last 24 years, entails dip-coating nanoporous TiO2 photoelectrodes in a concentrated solution of dye for an average of 16h. This process constitutes up to 80% of the fabrication time, leads to significant dye waste, and necessitates the use of organic solvents. A promising gas-phase deposition technique, coined Functionalized Carboxylate Deposition (FCD), was used to rapidly deposit a self-assembled monolayer of targeted α-carbon modified carboxylic acid containing dye molecules on TiO2 photoelectrodes. The FCD process successfully reduced the dye loading time by 98% (i.e., 15-20 min compared to an average of 16 h). Moreover, the FCD-sensitized photoelectrodes produced DSCs with equivalent or higher efficiencies than dip-coating for the dyes used (both in this study and by other researchers). The performance of FCD dye sensitization in this study indicates its potential applicability as a foundational technology for rapid fabrication of efficient DSCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-136
Number of pages9
JournalSolar Energy
Volume126
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gas-phase deposition
  • Hybrid materials
  • Monolayer
  • Solar cell fabrication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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