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porous photocathode Related Abstracts

1 Binder-Free Porous Photocathode Based on Cuprous Oxide for High-Performing P-Type Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Authors: Marinela Miclau, Melinda Vajda, Nicolae Miclau, Daniel Ursu


Characterized by a simple structure, easy and low cost fabrication, the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) attracted the interest of the scientific community as an attractive alternative of conventional Si-based solar cells and thin-film solar cells. Over the past 20 years, the main efforts have attempted to enhance the efficiency of n-type DSSCs, the highest efficiency record of 14.30% was achieved using the co-sensitization of two metal-free organic dyes and Co (II/III) tris(phenanthroline)-based redox electrolyte. In the last years, the development of the efficient p-type DSSC has become a research focus owing to the fact that the concept of tandem solar cell was proposed as the solution to increase the power conversion efficiency. A promising alternative for the photocathodes of p-type DSSC, cuprous (Cu2O) and cupric (CuO) oxides have been investigated because of its nontoxic nature, low cost, high natural abundance, a good absorption coefficient for visible light and a higher dielectric constant than NiO. In case of p-type DSSC based on copper oxides with I3-/I- as redox mediator, the highest conversion efficiency of 0.42% (Cu2O) and 0.03% (CuO) has achieved. Towards the increase in the performance, we have fabricated and analyzed the performance of p-type DSSC prepared with the binder-free porous Cu2O photocathodes. Porous thin film could be an attractive alternative for DSSC because of their large surface areas which enable the efficient absorption of the dyes and light. We propose a simple and one-step hydrothermal method for the preparation of porous Cu2O thin film using copper substrate, cupric acetate and ethyl cellulose. The cubic structure of Cu2O has been determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and porous morphology of thin film was emphasized by Scanning Electron Microscope Inspect S (SEM). Optical and Mott-Schottky measurements attest of the high quality of the Cu2O thin film. The binder-free porous Cu2O photocathode has confirmed the excellent photovoltaic properties, the best value reported for p-type DSSC (1%) in similar conditions being reached.

Keywords: dye-sensitized solar cell, hydrothermal method, cuprous oxide, porous photocathode

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