Alternative Redox Couples for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) convert sunlight to electricity at a low cost. In the DSC, a dye anchored to a mesoporous TiO2 semiconductor is responsible for capturing the sunlight. The resulting excited dye injects an electron into the conduction band of the TiO2 and is in turn regenerated by a redox mediator, normally iodide/triiodide, in a surrounding electrolyte. The success of the iodide/triiodide redox couple is mainly attributed to its slow interception of electrons at the TiO2 surface, which suppresses recombination losses in the DSC.
One of the main limitations with the iodide/triiodide redox couple is, however, the large driving force needed for regeneration, which minimizes the open circuit voltage and thus the energy conversion efficiency. In this thesis, alternative redox couples to the iodide/triiodide redox couple have been investigated. These redox couples include the one-electron transition metal complexes, ferrocene and cobalt polypyridine complexes. The use of one-electron redox couples in the DSC has previously been shown to lead to poor photovoltaic performances, because of increased recombination.
Cobalt redox couples were here found to give surprisingly high efficiencies in combination with the triphenylamine-based organic dye, D35. The success of the D35 dye, in combination with cobalt redox couples, was mainly attributed to the introduction of steric alkoxy chains on the dye, which supress recombination losses. By introducing steric substituents on the dye, rather than on the redox couple, mass transport limitations could in addition be avoided, which previously has been suggested to limit the performance of cobalt complexes in the DSC. The result of this study formed the basis for the world record efficiency of DSCs of 12.3 % using cobalt redox couples.
Interfacial electron-transfer processes in cobalt-based DSCs were investigated to gain information of advantages and limitations using cobalt redox couples in the DSC. The redox potentials of cobalt redox couples are easily tuned by changing the coordination sphere of the complexes, and regeneration and recombination kinetics were systematically investigated by increasing the redox potential of the cobalt complexes. Our hope is that this thesis can be a guideline for future design of new redox systems in DSCs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. , 80 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1017
redox mediator, triphenylamine, cobalt, ferrocene, titanium dioxide, regeneration, recombination
Research subject Physical Chemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-192694ISBN: 978-91-554-8595-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-192694DiVA: diva2:603456
2013-03-22, Häggsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Cameron, Petra, Dr
Hagfeldt, AndersBoschloo, Gerrit
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