Surface Engineering Dye-sensitized Solar Cells
Peter Holliman a, Christopher Kersahw a, Diana Meza-Rojas a, Rosie Anthony a, Eurig Jones a, Leo Furnell a, Arthur Connell a, James McGettrick a, Dawn Geatches b, Sebastian Metz b, Kakali Sen b
a College of Engineering, Swansea University, Bay Campus, Swansea, SA1 8EN, UK
b Scientific Computing Department, STFC Daresbury Laboratory, Daresbury, Warrington, UK
Proceedings of International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics (HOPV19)
Roma, Italy, 2019 May 12th - 15th
Organizers: Prashant Kamat, Filippo De Angelis and Aldo Di Carlo
Oral, Peter Holliman, presentation 016
Publication date: 11th February 2019

There are two key interfaces in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) devices; the dye-TiO2 and the dye-electrolyte interface. Most DSC devices are manufactured by submersion dyeing of TiO2 followed by either wetting with liquid electrolyte or by spin coating of a hole transport material (HTM). In practice, this means that dyes and HTM molecules will arrange themselves in whatever is the lowest energy orientation even if this is less favourable to device operation.

The paper will describe our current approaches to surface engineer these interfaces by combining theoretical and experimental approaches1 to designing dye and HTM molecules and processing conditions which enable interfacial self-assembly. This is particularly important when multiple species are involved (e.g. during co-sensitization)2,3 and/or for solid-state DSC devices where the use of solid electrolytes effectively “freezes” interfacial configurations.

In particular, this paper will describe theory versus s experiment for:

- optimising co-sensitization versus the AM1.5 spectrum using optical density, dye loading and TiO2 thickness

- understanding the orientation of dyes and HTMs on TiO2 versus loading using DFT and angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

- self-assembly approaches at the dye-TiO2 and dye-HTM interface.

The paper will conclude with a consideration of the maximum theoretical device efficiency possible using these approaches.

We gratefully acknowledge funding from EPSRC EP/P030068/1 (DM and RA); EP/M015254/1 (AC, EWJ), the Welsh Government for Sêr Cymru (PJH) and EU for SPARC-II (RA, LF, CK).

© Fundació Scito
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