Nanocrystalline Dye-sensitized Solar Cells Having Maximum Performance
This paper presents an overview of the research carried out by a European consortium with the aim to develop and test new and improved ways to realise dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) with enhanced efficiencies and stabilities. Several new areas have been explored in the field of new concepts and materials, fabrication protocols for TiO2 and scatterlayers, metal oxide blocking layers, strategies for co-sensitization and low temperature processes of platinum deposition. Fundamental understanding of the working principles has been gained by means of electrical and optical modelling and advanced characterization techniques. Cost analyses have been made to demonstrate the potential of DSC as a low cost thin film PV technology. The combined efforts have led to maximum non-certified power conversion efficiencies under full sunlight of 11% for areas <02 cm2 and 101% for a cell with an active area of 13 cm2. Lifetime studies revealed negligible device degradation after 1000 hrs of accelerated tests under thermal stress at 80°C in the dark and visible light soaking at 60°C. An outlook summarizing future directions in the research and large-scale production of DSC is presented.