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Photocurrent enhancement of dye-sensitized solar cells owing to increased dye-adsorption onto silicon-nanoparticle-coated titanium-dioxide films

Eun-Sung Ha, Beomjin Yoo, Hionsuck Baik, Yeonhee Lee, Kang-Jin Kim
Chemistry, An Asian Journal 2012, 7 (7): 1624-9
22461424
The inverse-micellar preparation of Si nanoparticles (Nps) was improved by utilizing sodium naphthalide. The Si Nps were subsequently functionalized with 4-vinylbenzoic acid for their attachment onto TiO(2) films of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The average diameter of the COOH-functionalized Si (Si-COOH) Nps was 4.6(±1.7) nm. Depth profiling by secondary-ion mass spectrometry revealed that the Si Nps were uniformly attached onto the TiO(2) films. The number of Ru(II) dye molecules adsorbed onto a TiO(2) film that was treated with the Si-COOH Nps was 42 % higher than that on the untreated TiO(2) film. As a result, DSSCs that incorporated the Si-COOH Nps exhibited higher short-circuit photocurrent density and an overall energy-conversion efficiency than the untreated DSSCs by 22 % and 27 %, respectively. This enhanced performance, mostly owing to the intramolecular charge-transfer to TiO(2) from the dye molecules that were anchored to the Si-COOH Nps, was confirmed by comparing the performance with two different Ru(II) -bipyridine dyes (N719 and N749).

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