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Macroporous SnO2 Synthesized via a Template-Assisted Reflux Process for Efficient Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

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MOE Key Laboratory of Bioinorganic and Synthetic Chemistry, KLGHEI of Environment and Energy Chemistry, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Lehn Institute of Functional Materials, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, P. R. China
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2013, 5, 11, 5105–5111
Publication Date (Web):May 21, 2013
https://doi.org/10.1021/am4009727
Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

Macroporous SnO2 composed of small SnO2 nanoparticles with diameters around 10 nm is prepared via a reflux process. This novel structure is designed as the photoanode in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), intending to improve the light utilization efficiency with its excellent light scattering ability. Though the dye adsorption of macroporous SnO2 (14.00 × 10–8 mol cm–2) is lower than that of SnO2 nanoparticles (19.24 × 10–8 mol cm–2), the photovoltaic performance of the DSSCs based on the former is 4.87% compared to 4.41% for SnO2 nanoparticles, showing over 10% increment than the latter. This improvement is mainly due to the enhanced light scattering ability and charge collection efficiency of the macroporous structure, both of which contribute to a higher short current density and hence for the better power conversion efficiency. Furthermore, a double-layer structure composed of SnO2 nanoparticles (active layer) and macroporous SnO2 (scattering layer) possess both large dye adsorption (22.82 × 10–8 mol cm–2) and scattering property, thus leads to a significant overall conversion efficiency of 5.78%.

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