Effective Passivation of Nanostructured TiO2 Interfaces with PEG-Based Oligomeric Coadsorbents To Improve the Performance of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

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The National Creative Research Initiative Center for Intelligent Hybrids, The WCU Program on Chemical Convergence for Energy and Environment, School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-744, Korea
WCU Department of Energy Engineering and Center for Next Generation Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea
Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. C 2012, 116, 11, 6770–6777
Publication Date (Web):February 27, 2012
Copyright © 2012 American Chemical Society
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A novel poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) based oligomeric coadsorbent was employed to passivate TiO2 photoanodes resulting in the large increase in both open-circuit voltage (Voc) and short-circuit current density (Jsc) primarily because of the reduced electron recombination by the effective coverage of vacant sites as well as the negative band-edge shift of TiO2. The effective suppression of electron recombination was evidenced by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and by stepped light-induced transient measurements of photocurrent and voltage (SLIM-PCV). The work function measurements also showed that the existence of coadsorbents on TiO2 interfaces is capable of shifting the band-edge of TiO2 photoanodes upwardly resulting in the increase in photovoltage. In addition, the coadsorbent was proven to be effective even in the presence of common additives such as LiI, 4-tert-butylpyridine, and guanidinium thiocyanate. The effect of Li+ cation trapping by ethylene oxide units of the coadsorbent was particularly notable to significantly increase Voc at a small expense of Jsc. Consequently, the introduction of novel PEG-based oligomeric coadsorbents for TiO2 photoanodes is quite effective in the improvement of photovoltaic performance because of the simultaneous increase in both Voc and Jsc.

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Comparison of JV characteristics of DSSCs with TiO2 photoanodes passivated with oligomeric mPEG-succinic acid coadsorbents by adopting two different adsorption protocols (i.e., the simultaneous adsorption and the sequential adsorption) measured under 1 sun illumination (AM 1.5, 100 mW/cm2 with shading masks); energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic (EDXS) results for the bare TiO2 and the surface-passivated TiO2 by the oligomeric mPEG-succinic acid coadsorbent and photovoltage transient of DSSCs with TiO2 photoanodes passivated with oligomeric mPEG-succinic acid coadsorbents by SLIM-PCV. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at http://pubs.acs.org.

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