Effects of crown ethers in nanocomposite silica-gel electrolytes on the performance of quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells

Type
Article

Authors
Huang, Kuan-Chieh
Vittal, R.
Ho, Kuo-Chuan

Date
2010-04

Abstract
The effects of crown ethers (CEs) on the performance of quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have been investigated. Nanocomposite silica was used to form gel matrices in the electrolytes, which contained lithium iodide (LiI) and iodine (I2) in 3-methoxypropionitrile (MPN) solvent. Three types of CEs, 12-crown-4 (12-C-4), 15-crown-5 (15-C-5), and 18-crown-6 (18-C-6) were used as additives to the gel electrolytes. DSSCs containing CEs showed enhancements in solar-to-electricity conversion efficiencies (η), with reference to the one without them. The crown ether, 15-C-5, with a size of cavity matching with the size of Li+ in the electrolyte rendered for its DSSC the best performance with an η of 3.60%, under 100 mW/cm2 illumination, as compared to 2.44% for the cell without any CE. Enhancements in the photovoltaic parameters of the cells with the CEs were explained based on the binding abilities of the CEs with lithium ions (Li+) in the electrolyte. Linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) measurements and electrochemical impedance spectra were used to substantiate the explanations. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Citation
Huang K-C, Vittal R, Ho K-C (2010) Effects of crown ethers in nanocomposite silica-gel electrolytes on the performance of quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 94: 675–679. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.solmat.2009.11.002.

Acknowledgements
This work was financially supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) through the Global Research Partnership Centers-in-Development grant (KAUST GRP-CID). Some of the instruments used in this study were made available through the support of the National Science Council (NSC) of Taiwan, under Grant numbers NSC 96-2120-M-002-016 and NSC 97-2120-M-002-012. We also thank the National Taiwan University for providing the matching fund to this research.

Publisher
Elsevier BV

Journal
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells

DOI
10.1016/j.solmat.2009.11.002

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