Journal article

Incompletely solvated ionic liquid mixtures as electrolyte solvents for highly stable dye-sensitized solar cells

Ionic liqs. have been intensively investigated as alternative stable electrolyte solvents for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). A highest overall conversion efficiency of over 8% has been achieved using a ionic-liq.-based electrolyte in combination with an iodide/triiodide redox couple. However, the relatively high viscosities of ionic liqs. require higher iodine concn. in the electrolyte due to mass-transport limitations of the triiodide ions. The higher iodine concn. significantly reduces the photovoltaic performance, which normally are lower than those using org. solvent-based electrolytes. Here, the concept of incompletely solvated ionic liq. mixts. (ISILMs) is introduced and represents a conceptually new type of electrolyte solvent for DSCs. It is found that the photovoltaic performance of ISILM-based electrolytes can rival that of org. solvent-based electrolytes. Furthermore, the vapor pressures of ISILMs are found to be considerably lower than that for pure org. solvents. Stability tests show that ISILM-based electrolytes provide highly stable DSCs under light soaking conditions. Thus, ISILM-based electrolytes offer a new platform to develop more efficient and stable DSC devices of relevance to future large-scale applications.


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