A small electron donor in cobalt complex electrolyte significantly improves efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells

Yan Hao, Wenxing Yang, Lei Zhang, Roger Jiang, Edgar Mijangos, Yasemin Saygili, Leif Hammarström, Anders Hagfeldt, Gerrit Boschloo

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Photoelectrochemical approach to solar energy conversion demands a kinetic optimization of various light-induced electron transfer processes. Of great importance are the redox mediator systems accomplishing the electron transfer processes at the semiconductor/electrolyte interface, therefore affecting profoundly the performance of various photoelectrochemical cells. Here, we develop a strategy - by addition of a small organic electron donor, tris(4-methoxyphenyl)amine, into state-of-art cobalt tris(bipyridine) redox electrolyte - to significantly improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. The developed solar cells exhibit efficiency of 11.7 and 10.5%, at 0.46 and one-sun illumination, respectively, corresponding to a 26% efficiency improvement compared with the standard electrolyte. Preliminary stability tests showed the solar cell retained 90% of its initial efficiency after 250 h continuous one-sun light soaking. Detailed mechanistic studies reveal the crucial role of the electron transfer cascade processes within the new redox system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13934
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - Dec 21 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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