Infoscience

Journal article

A small electron donor in cobalt complex electrolyte significantly improves efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells

Photoelectrochemical approach to solar energy conversion demands a kinetic optimization of various light-induced electron transfer processes. Of great importance are the redox mediator systems accomplishing the electron transfer processes at the semiconductor/electrolyte interface, therefore affecting profoundly the performance of various photoelectrochemical cells. Here, we develop a strategy-by addition of a small organic electron donor, tris(4-methoxyphenyl)amine, into state-of-art cobalt tris(bipyridine) redox electrolyte-to significantly improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. The developed solar cells exhibit efficiency of 11.7 and 10.5%, at 0.46 and one-sun illumination, respectively, corresponding to a 26% efficiency improvement compared with the standard electrolyte. Preliminary stability tests showed the solar cell retained 90% of its initial efficiency after 250 h continuous one-sun light soaking. Detailed mechanistic studies reveal the crucial role of the electron transfer cascade processes within the new redox system.

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