Journal article

Increased light harvesting in dye-sensitized solar cells with energy relay dyes

Conventional dye-sensitized solar cells have excellent charge collection efficiencies, high open-circuit voltages and good fill factors. However, dye-sensitized solar cells do not completely absorb all of the photons from the visible and near-infrared domain and consequently have lower short-circuit photocurrent densities than inorganic photovoltaic devices. Here, we present a new design where high-energy photons are absorbed by highly photoluminescent chromophores unattached to the titania and undergo Forster resonant energy transfer to the sensitizing dye. This novel architecture allows for broader spectral absorption, an increase in dye loading, and relaxes the design requirements for the sensitizing dye. We demonstrate a 26% increase in power conversion efficiency when using an energy relay dye (PTCDI) with an organic sensitizing dye (TT1). We estimate the average excitation transfer efficiency in this system to be at least 47%. This system offers a viable pathway to develop more efficient dye-sensitized solar cells.


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