Urea-treated electrolytes for higher efficiency dye-sensitized solar cells

Salem Abdulkarim, Hytham Elbohy, Nirmal Adhikari, Md Nazmul Hasan, Wenjin Yue, Qiquan Qiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Urea was used as additive for the triiodide/iodide electrolyte (I-/I3-) to increase the efficiencies of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Different concentrations (0, 2, 5, 10, and 20 wt %.) of urea were added to the electrolyte to improve overall DSSC performance. The optimal concentration was found at 10 wt %. Significant improvements were achieved in both open circuit voltage (Voc) and fill factor (FF) by increasing the urea wt %. Urea is considered a Brønsted-Lowry base that has a lone pair of electrons. The power conversion efficiency (PCE %) was remarkably improved from -8.5% without the use of urea to ∼10.1% for the optimal 10 wt % of urea in the electrolyte. The efficiency enhancement was attributed mainly to the decrease of triiodide (I3-) in the electrolyte due to the higher urea wt % and the enhanced intermolecular hydrogen bonding between the urea and electrolyte when the excess H+ was introduced to the electrolyte at a higher urea wt %.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21225-21230
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number39
StatePublished - Oct 5 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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