Exploring the heterogeneous interfaces in organic or ruthenium dye-sensitized liquid- and solid-state solar cells

Young Soo Kwon, Inwoo Song, Jong Chul Lim, In Young Song, Ayyanar Siva, Taiho Park
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2012 June 27, 4 (6): 3141-7
The interfacial properties were systematically investigated using an organic sensitizer (3-(5'-{4-[(4-tert-butyl-phenyl)-p-tolyl-amino]-phenyl}-[2,2']bithiophenyl-5-yl)-2-cyano-acrylic acid (D)) and inorganic sensitizer (bis(tetrabutylammonium) cis-bis(thiocyanato)bis(2,2'-bipyridine-4,4'-dicarboxylato) ruthenium(II) (N719)) in a liquid-state and a solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC). For liquid-DSCs, the faster charge recombination for the surface of D-sensitized TiO2 resulted in shorter diffusion length (LD) of ∼3.9 μm than that of N719 (∼7.5 μm), limiting the solar cell performance at thicker films used in liquid-DSCs. On the other hand, for solid-DSCs using thin TiO2 films (∼ 2 μm), D-sensitized device outperforms the N719-sensitized device in an identical fabrication condition, mainly due to less perfect wetting ability of solid hole conductor into the porous TiO2 network, inducing the dye monolayer act as an insulation layer, while liquid electrolyte is able to fully wet the surface of TiO2. Such insulation effect was attributed to the fact that the significant increase in recombination resistance (from 865 to 4,400 Ω/cm(2)) but shorter electron lifetime (from 10.8 to 0.8 ms) when compared to liquid-DSCs. Higher recombination resistance for solid-DSCs induced the electron transport-limited situation, showing poor performance of N719-sensitized device which has shorter electron transport time and similar LD (2.9 μm) with D-sensitized device (3.0 μm).


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