Optimizing Hydrogel Electrolytes for Dye-sensitized Solar Cells
Claudia Barolo a b, Federico Bella c, Simone Galliano a, Lucia Fagiolari c, Matteo Bonomo a, Gerrit Boschloo d, Michael Graetzel e, Claudio Gerbaldi c, Guido Viscardi a
a Department of Chemistry, Università degli Studi di Torino, Via Pietro Giuria 7, 10125 Torino, Italy
b ICxT Interdepartmental Center, Università degli Studi di Torino, Lungo Dora Siena 100, 10153 Torino, Italy
c Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, C.so Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
d Department of Chemistry, Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, Lägerhyddsvägen, 1, Uppsala, Sweden
e Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, Lausanne, Switzerland
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
Poster, Claudia Barolo, 270
Publication date: 11th February 2019

In this contribution, an investigation on bio-derived hydrogel electrolytes for dye-sensitized solar cells is proposed.

When opportunely developed and optimized, aqueous solar cells can be considered a truly low impact photovoltaic device with non-toxic components [1,2,3]. Moreover, the possibility of gelling the electrolyte into a polymeric matrix can reduce the leakage outside the device, thus increasing the long-term stability. Above all, bio-derived polymers appear promising being renewable and easy available with low cost [4]. Different aqueous electrolytes gelled with carboxymethylcellulose (Na-CMC) or xanthan gum have been prepared with both I-/I3- and Co2+/3+ redox mediators. These gelled systems show good photovoltaic performances, maintaining over 90% efficiency of liquid DSSCs, as well as enhanced long-term stability.

Moreover, we demontrate the use of Experimental Designs (DoE) as a powerful chemometric technique for the concurrent investigation of a number of experimental factors that directly influence the photovoltaic performances of solar cells. Results obtained enlighten that a solid mathematical-statistical approach is fundamental to support the researchers and effectively drive the experiments towards the achievements of optimal operating conditions for aqueous solar cells 5].

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