Influence of TiO2 Particle Size on Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Employing an Organic Sensitizer and a Cobalt(III/II) Redox Electrolyte

  • Yoon Jun Son
    Yoon Jun Son
    School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    More by Yoon Jun Son
  • Jin Soo Kang
    Jin Soo Kang
    School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    More by Jin Soo Kang
  • Jungjin Yoon
    Jungjin Yoon
    Global Frontier Center for Multiscale Energy Systems and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    More by Jungjin Yoon
  • Jin Kim
    Jin Kim
    School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    More by Jin Kim
  • Juwon Jeong
    Juwon Jeong
    School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    More by Juwon Jeong
  • Jiho Kang
    Jiho Kang
    School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    More by Jiho Kang
  • Myeong Jae Lee
    Myeong Jae Lee
    School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    School of Advanced Materials Engineering, Kookmin University, Seoul 02707, Republic of Korea
  • Hyun S. Park*
    Hyun S. Park
    Fuel Cell Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Seoul 02792, Republic of Korea
    *E-mail: [email protected] (H.S.P.).
    More by Hyun S. Park
  • , and 
  • Yung-Eun Sung*
    Yung-Eun Sung
    School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    Center for Nanoparticle Research, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
    *E-mail: [email protected] (Y.-E.S).
Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. C 2018, 122, 13, 7051–7060
Publication Date (Web):March 12, 2018
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b12206
Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are highly efficient and reliable photovoltaic devices that are based on nanostructured semiconductor photoelectrodes. From their inception in 1991, colloidal TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) with the large surface area have manifested the highest performances and the particle size of around 20 nm is generally regarded as the optimized condition. However, though there have been reports on the influences of particle sizes in conventional DSSCs employing iodide redox electrolyte, the size effects in DSSCs with the state-of-the-art cobalt electrolyte have not been investigated. In this research, systematic analyses on DSSCs with cobalt electrolytes are carried out by using various sizes of NPs (20–30 nm), and the highest performance is obtained in the case of 30 nm sized TiO2 NPs, indicating that there is a reversed power conversion efficiency trend when compared with those with the iodide counterpart. Detailed investigations on various factors—light harvesting, charge injection, dye regeneration, and charge collection—reveal that TiO2 particles with a size range of 20–30 nm do not have a notable difference in charge injection, dye regeneration, and even in light-harvesting efficiency. It is experimentally verified that the superior charge collection property is the sole origin of the higher performance, suggesting that charge collection should be prioritized for designing nanostructured TiO2 photoelectrodes for DSSCs employing cobalt redox electrolytes.

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