Saxena, Vibha and Aswal, D. K. (2015) Surface modifications of photoanodes in dye sensitized solar cells: enhanced light harvesting and reduced recombination. Semiconductor Science and Technology, 30 (6). 064005-1-064005-23. ISSN 0268-1242

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In a quest to harvest solar power, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have potential for low-cost eco-friendly photovoltaic devices. The major processes which govern the efficiency of a DSSC are photoelectron generation, injection of photo-generated electrons to the conduction band (CB) of the mesoporous nanocrystalline semiconductor (nc-SC); transport of CB electrons through nc-SC and subsequent collection of CB electrons at the counter electrode (CE) through the external circuit; and dye regeneration by redox couple or hole transport layer (HTL). Most of these processes occur at various interfaces of the photoanode. In addition, recombination losses of photo-generated electrons with either dye or redox molecules take place at the interfaces. Therefore, one of the key requirements for high efficiency is to improve light harvesting of the photoanode and to reduce the recombination losses at various interfaces. In this direction, surface modification of the photoanode is the simplest method among the various other approaches available in the literature. In this review, we present a comprehensive discussion on surface modification of the photoanode, which has been adopted in the literature for not only enhancing light harvesting but also reducing recombination. Various approaches towards surface modification of the photoanode discussed are (i) fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO)/nc-SC interface modified via a compact layer of semiconductor material which blocks exposed sites of FTO to electrolyte (or HTL), (ii) nc-SC/dye interface modification either through acid treatment resulting in enhanced dye loading due to a positively charged surface or by depositing insulating/semiconducting blocking layer on the nc-SC surface, which acts as a tunneling barrier for recombination, (iii) nc-SC/dye interface modified by employing co-adsorbents which helps in reducing the dye aggregation and thereby recombination, and (iv) dye/electrolyte (or dye/HTL) interface modification using additives which provides surface passivation as well as positive movement of the nc-SC Fermi level owing to negative charge at the surface and hence improves light harvesting and reduced recombination. Finally, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches towards high-efficiency DSSCs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to M/S IOP PUBLISHING
Subjects: Engineering
Materials Science
Depositing User: Ms Neetu Chandra
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2016 11:09
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:09

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