Journal article

Cobalt(II/III) redox electrolyte in ZnO nanowire-based dye-sensitized solar cells

In this work, we explore the use of cobalt complex redox shuttles in dye sensitized solar cells (DSCs) based on ZnO nanowires (NWs). Arrays of vertically aligned ZnO NWs produced by a low-cost hydrothermal method are used to fabricate DSCs with [Co(bpy)3]2+/3+ as electrolyte. A direct comparison of the performance of [Co(bpy)3]2+/3+-based ZnO DSC with I-/I3--based ones demonstrates the higher suitability of the cobalt complex, both in terms of a larger open circuit voltage (VOC) and a higher photocurrent. The [Co(bpy)3]2+/3+ electrolyte results in VOC enhancements above 200 mV. This VOC increase is assocd. to the better match between the cobalt complex redox potential and the oxidn. potential of the dye. The incident photon-to-current efficiency (IPCE) enhancement is attributed to a less competitive visible light absorption of the cobalt redox couple. Thus the present study opens new opportunities to improve energy conversion efficiency in ZnO-based DSCs.


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