Molecular gelation of ionic liquid-sulfolane mixtures, a solid electrolyte for high performance dye-sensitized solar cells
Cyclohexanecarboxylic acid-[4-(3-tetradecylureido)phenyl]amide is an efficient gelator to solidify ionic liquid electrolytes. In this paper we apply this low molecular weight gelator to solidify the newly prepared sulfolane based ionic liquid electrolyte. This solid electrolyte is successfully applied as an electrolyte for dye sensitized solar cells. This solid electrolyte is thermo-reversible, upon heating it will become a liquid and at room temperature it will solidify, facilitating the cell filling by the electrolyte. Applying this solid electrolyte we obtained 7.8% power conversion efficiency under simulated AM 1.5 full sunlight intensity. The devices with liquid and solid electrolytes were analysed by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to explain the differences in the photovoltaic performance. These cells were also measured under outdoor conditions at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to explore the feasibility of practical applications of this electrolyte.