Surface modification of SnO2 photoelectrodes in dye-sensitized solar cells: Significant improvements in photovoltage via Al2O 3 atomic layer deposition

Chaiya Prasittichai, Joseph T Hupp

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Abstract

We report here the exploitation of ultrathin layers of Al2O 3 deposited via atomic layer deposition (ALD) on SnO2 photoanodes used in dye-sensitized solar cells featuring the I3 -/I- couple as the redox electrolyte. We find that a single ALD cycle of Al2O3 increases the lifetimes of injected electrons by more than 2 orders of magnitude. The modified SnO 2 photoanode yields nearly a 2-fold improvement fill factor and a greater than 2-fold increase in open-circuit photovoltage, with a slight increase in short-circuit photocurrent. The overall energy conversion efficiency increases by roughly 5-fold. The effects appear to arise primarily from passivation of reactive, low-energy tin-oxide surface states, with band-edge shifts and tunneling based blocking behavior playing only secondary roles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1611-1615
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Volume1
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 20 2010

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Atomic layer deposition
photovoltages
atomic layer epitaxy
Surface treatment
solar cells
dyes
energy conversion efficiency
short circuits
Surface states
exploitation
Tin oxides
Photocurrents
Energy conversion
Passivation
Short circuit currents
Electrolytes
tin oxides
passivity
Conversion efficiency
photocurrents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "We report here the exploitation of ultrathin layers of Al2O 3 deposited via atomic layer deposition (ALD) on SnO2 photoanodes used in dye-sensitized solar cells featuring the I3 -/I- couple as the redox electrolyte. We find that a single ALD cycle of Al2O3 increases the lifetimes of injected electrons by more than 2 orders of magnitude. The modified SnO 2 photoanode yields nearly a 2-fold improvement fill factor and a greater than 2-fold increase in open-circuit photovoltage, with a slight increase in short-circuit photocurrent. The overall energy conversion efficiency increases by roughly 5-fold. The effects appear to arise primarily from passivation of reactive, low-energy tin-oxide surface states, with band-edge shifts and tunneling based blocking behavior playing only secondary roles.",
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