Effects of Plasmonic Nanoparticle Incorporation on Electrodynamics and Photovoltaic Performance of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

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Instituto de Física, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Apdo. Postal J-48, Puebla, Puebla 72570, Mexico
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Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. C 2016, 120, 19, 10129–10136
Publication Date (Web):April 29, 2016
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society
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Incorporation of plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs) has been considered recently to increase the absorption efficiency and/or the photocurrent of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). However, metal NPs introduced in DSSCs make direct contact with iodide/triiodide-based liquid electrolyte, creating several problems such as recombination of charge-carriers, back reaction of photogenerated carriers, and corrosion of introduced metal NPs. For freshly prepared cells, charge-carrier recombination has been assumed as the principal process affecting the overall efficiency on DSSs. In this paper, through detailed optical and electrical characterization of gold nanoparticle-incorporated DSSCs and utilization of total electron density model, we demonstrate that the common perception that bare Au nanoparticles (NPs) act as recombination or back reactions centers cannot explain the photovoltaic behaviors of plasmonic DSSCs fully. Introduced plasmonic nanoparticles reduce electron injection efficiency in DSSCs, keeping the electron collection efficiency unchanged. Reduction of electron injection efficiency in plasmonic DSSCs is associated with an upward shift of the conduction band due to Au nanoparticle incorporation.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b01053.

  • Absorption spectrum of the as-synthesized gold colloid; TEM micrograph of gold nanoparticles; SEM image of the TiO2 + Au5 film; electron charge density vs open circuit voltage plots as a function of light intensity for samples with different Au NP treatments; electron transport-time vs open circuit voltage plots as a function of light intensity for samples with different Au NP treatments; electron transport-time vs charge density plots as a function of light intensity for samples with different Au NP treatments; electron lifetime vs open circuit voltage plots as a function of light intensity for samples with different Au NP treatments; list of fitting parameters obtained from SLIT of photovoltage and photocurrent measurements for the different Au treated DSSCs; comparison between the measured and theoretical current vs voltage curves for the DSSCs prepared with different Au NP treatments (PDF)

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