[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A ZnO compact layer formed by electrodeposition and ZnO nanorods grown by chemical bath deposition (CBD) allow the processing of low-temperature, solution based and flexible solid state perovskite CH3NH3PbI3 solar cells. Conversion efficiencies of 8.90% were achieved on rigid substrates while the flexible ones yielded 2.62%.
Chemical Communications 10/2013; · 6.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low-temperature solution-processed photovoltaics suffer from low efficiencies because of poor exciton or electron-hole diffusion lengths (typically about 10 nanometers). Recent reports of highly efficient CH3NH3PbI3-based solar cells in a broad range of configurations raise a compelling case for understanding the fundamental photophysical mechanisms in these materials. By applying femtosecond transient optical spectroscopy to bilayers that interface this perovskite with either selective-electron or selective-hole extraction materials, we have uncovered concrete evidence of balanced long-range electron-hole diffusion lengths of at least 100 nanometers in solution-processed CH3NH3PbI3. The high photoconversion efficiencies of these systems stem from the comparable optical absorption length and charge-carrier diffusion lengths, transcending the traditional constraints of solution-processed semiconductors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-aqueous synthesis routes have emerged as a powerful platform for directly obtaining diverse metal oxide nanoparticles with high crystallinity and tunable compositions. The benzyl alcohol (BA) route, for example, has been applied towards dozens of oxides including binary, ternary and even more complex multi-metal systems. Here we compare anatase nanoparticles made from the BA route with the traditional hydrothermal route. XPS measurements indicated that the BA route resulted in more reduced Ti states, corresponding to additional oxygen vacancies. These defects resulted in additional trap states, slower recombination, and slower charge transport. The performance of BA anatase was improved by incorporating niobium intended to suppress oxygen vacancies. The higher performance Nb-containing films were post treated to yield a 7.96% power conversion efficiency (AM 1.5), similar to the state-of-the-art hydrolytic TiO2 in the same configuration.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two cyanobiphenyl liquid crystals (LCs), 5CB (4-cyano-4'-pentylbiphenyl) and 8CB (4-cyano-4'-octylbiphenyl), are introduced as additives into Co(ii/iii) electrolytes for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). An electrolyte containing a combination of these LCs and 4-tert-butylpyridine (TBP) exhibits higher photovoltage than one with only TBP, resulting in higher power conversion efficiency.
Chemical Communications 08/2013; · 6.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: See-through dye-sensitized solar cells with 1D photonic crystal Bragg reflector photoanodes show an increase in peak external quantum efficiency of 47% while still maintaining high fill factors, resulting in an almost 40% increase in power conversion efficiency. These photoanodes are ideally suited for tandem and building integrated photovoltaics.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy is used to identify a slow electron transport process in hydrogen evolution catalysed by amorphous molybdenum sulphides on glassy carbon. A new chemical synthesis leads to an amorphous molybdenum sulfide catalyst with a higher electronic conductivity.
Chemical Communications 08/2013; · 6.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The paradigm shift in dye sensitized solar cells (DSCs) - towards donor- π bridge-acceptor (D-π-A) dyes - increases the performances of DSCs and challenges established design principles. Framed by this shifting landscape, a series of four diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP)-based sensitizers utilizing the donor-chromophore-anchor (D-C-A) motif were investigated computationally, spectroscopically, and fabricated by systematic evaluation of finished photovoltaic cells. In all cases, the [Co(bpy)3](3+/2+) redox-shuttle afforded superior performance compared to I3(-)/I(-). Aesthetically, careful molecular engineering of the DPP chromophore yielded the first example of a high-performance blue DSC - a challenge unmet since the inception of this photovoltaic technology: DPP17 yields over 10% power conversion efficiency (PCE) with the [Co(bpy)3](3+/2+) electrolyte at full AM 1.5 G simulated sun light.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a facile synthetic route to obtain functionalized quaterpyridine ligand and its trans-dithiocyanato ruthenium complex, based on a microwave-assisted procedure. The ruthenium complex has been purified using a silica chromatographic column by protecting carboxylic acid groups as iso-butyl ester, which are subsequently hydrolyzed. The highly pure complex exhibits panchromatic response throughout the visible region. DFT/time-dependent DFT calculations have been performed on the ruthenium complex in solution and adsorbed onto TiO2 to analyze relative electronic and optical properties. The ruthenium complex endowed with the functionalized quaterpyridine ligand was used as a sensitizer in dye-sensitized solar cell yielding a short-circuit photocurrent density of more than 19 mA cm(-2) with a broad incident photon to current conversion efficiency spectra ranging from 400 to 900 nm, exceeding 80 % at 700 nm.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following pioneering work, solution-processable organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites-such as CH3NH3PbX3 (X = Cl, Br, I)-have attracted attention as light-harvesting materials for mesoscopic solar cells. So far, the perovskite pigment has been deposited in a single step onto mesoporous metal oxide films using a mixture of PbX2 and CH3NH3X in a common solvent. However, the uncontrolled precipitation of the perovskite produces large morphological variations, resulting in a wide spread of photovoltaic performance in the resulting devices, which hampers the prospects for practical applications. Here we describe a sequential deposition method for the formation of the perovskite pigment within the porous metal oxide film. PbI2 is first introduced from solution into a nanoporous titanium dioxide film and subsequently transformed into the perovskite by exposing it to a solution of CH3NH3I. We find that the conversion occurs within the nanoporous host as soon as the two components come into contact, permitting much better control over the perovskite morphology than is possible with the previously employed route. Using this technique for the fabrication of solid-state mesoscopic solar cells greatly increases the reproducibility of their performance and allows us to achieve a power conversion efficiency of approximately 15 per cent (measured under standard AM1.5G test conditions on solar zenith angle, solar light intensity and cell temperature). This two-step method should provide new opportunities for the fabrication of solution-processed photovoltaic cells with unprecedented power conversion efficiencies and high stability equal to or even greater than those of today's best thin-film photovoltaic devices.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Charge transport in nanoparticle-based materials underlies many emerging energy-conversion technologies, yet assessing the impact of nanometre-scale structure on charge transport across micrometre-scale distances remains a challenge. Here we develop an approach for correlating the spatial distribution of crystalline and current-carrying domains in entire nanoparticle aggregates. We apply this approach to nanoparticle-based α-Fe2O3 electrodes that are of interest in solar-to-hydrogen energy conversion. In correlating structure and charge transport with nanometre resolution across micrometre-scale distances, we have identified the existence of champion nanoparticle aggregates that are most responsible for the high photoelectrochemical activity of the present electrodes. Indeed, when electrodes are fabricated with a high proportion of these champion nanostructures, the electrodes achieve the highest photocurrent of any metal oxide photoanode for photoelectrochemical water-splitting under 100 mW cm(-2) air mass 1.5 global sunlight.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ruthenium and Co: Ruthenium(II) complexes remain prime candidates for dye-sensitized solar applications; however, current ruthenium sensitizers are not compatible with cobalt(II/III) electrolytes. Herein, the effect of surface insulation on device efficiency is studied by comparing two cyclometalated tris-heteroleptic ruthenium(II) complexes. This approach demonstrates a general principle that leads to unprecedented efficiency for a ruthenium(II) sensitizer used in combination with a cobalt electrolyte.
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 07/2013; · 13.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High solubility is a requirement for energy relay dyes (ERDs) to absorb a large portion of incident light and significantly improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Two benzonitrile-soluble ERDs, BL302 and BL315, were synthesized, characterized, and resulted in a 65% increase in the efficiency of TT1-sensitized DSSCs. The high solubility (180 mM) of these ERDs allows for absorption of over 95% of incident light at their peak wavelength. The overall power conversion efficiency of DSSCs with BL302 and BL315 was found to be limited by their energy transfer efficiency of approximately 70%. Losses due to large pore size, dynamic collisional quenching of the ERD, energy transfer to desorbed sensitizing dyes and static quenching by complex formation were investigated and it was found that a majority of the losses are caused by the formation of statically quenched ERDs in solution.
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 06/2013; · 3.83 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inorganic-organic hybrid structures have become innovative alternatives
for next-generation dye-sensitized solar cells, because they combine the
advantages of both systems. Here, we introduce a layered sandwich-type
architecture, the core of which comprises a bicontinuous
three-dimensional nanocomposite of mesoporous (mp)-TiO2, with
CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite as light
harvester, as well as a polymeric hole conductor. This platform creates
new opportunities for the development of low-cost, solution-processed,
high-efficiency solar cells. The use of a polymeric hole conductor,
especially poly-triarylamine, substantially improves the open-circuit
voltage Voc and fill factor of the cells. Solar cells based
on these inorganic-organic hybrids exhibit a short-circuit current
density Jsc of 16.5 mA cm-2, Voc of
0.997 V and fill factor of 0.727, yielding a power conversion efficiency
of 12.0% under standard AM 1.5 conditions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a highly efficient solar cells based on a submicrometer (~0.6 µm) rutile TiO2 nanorod sensitized with CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite nanodots. Rutile nanorods were grown hydrothermally and their lengths were varied through the control of the reaction time. Infiltration of spiro-MeOTAD hole transport material into the perovskite-sensitized nanorod films demonstrated photocurrent density of 15.6 mA/cm2, voltage of 955 mV and fill factor of 0.63, leading to a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 9.4% under the simulated AM 1.5G one sun illumination. Photovoltaic performance was significantly dependent on the length of the nanorods, where both photocurrent and voltage decreased with increasing nanorod lengths. A continuous drop of voltage with increasing nanorod length correlated with charge generation efficiency rather than recombination kinetics with impedance spectroscopic characterization displaying similar recombination regardless of the nanorod length.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two new organic D–π–A dyes containing identical π-conjugated spacer and anchoring/acceptor moieties but different donor groups were designed and synthesized. These dyes containing didodecyl-cyclopentadithiophene (CPDT) as a spacer, cyanoacrylic acid as an acceptor and N-butyl-carbazole or N-butyl-phenothiazine moieties as electron donor groups are labelled as V4 and V11 dyes, respectively. The variation in the donor group of these two dyes, that influences the photophysical, electrochemical and photovoltaic parameters, was investigated. The highest photovoltaic conversion efficiency of 7.5% was obtained with V4 dye at AM 1.5 G full sunlight intensity (100 mWcm−2). Comparison of phenothiazine donor dyes with two different π-conjugated spacers, CPDT (V11) and vinyl thiophene (V7) containing devices shows that the Voc of V7 dye is lower than that of V11 due to the downward shift of the conduction band edge. Transient photovoltage and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements were performed to explain the differences in the PV parameters by varying the donors and/or spacer groups.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We synthesized a series of Ru(II) metal complexes TFRS-1, -2, -4, -21, -22 and -24 with a single 4,4′-dicarboxylic acid-2,2′-bipyridine together with two functionalized pyridyl azolate ancillary ligands consisting of pyrazolate or triazolate groups. Both photophysical measurements and DFT/TDDFT calculations were conducted to gain insight into their electronic and optical properties. The triazolate series of sensitizers TFRS-21, -22 and -24 showed an enlarged optical band gap with respect to their pyrazolate counterparts TFRS-1, -2 and -4. When employed in dye sensitized solar cells (DSCs), the triazolate sensitizers show slightly inferior JSC values due to the poor incident photon-to-current conversion efficiencies recorded compared to the pyrazolate series. Moreover, the endowed 5-(hexylthio)thiophen-2-yl substituents exert a notable hyperchromic effect and bathochromic shift in the absorption spectra, which then improves the short circuit current JSC to 18.7 and 15.5 mA cm−2 and the overall conversion efficiency to η = 10.2% and 8.25% for TFRS-4 and TFRS-24, respectively. For the evaluation of VOC, transient photocurrent and photovoltage decay measurements were carried out to compare the rates of interfacial recombination of electrons from the TiO2 conduction band to electrolyte.
Chemical Science 05/2013; 4(6):2423-2433. · 8.31 Impact Factor