Tio2 nanotube based dye-sensitised solar cells
Cummings, Franscious Riccardo
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The first report of a functioning photo-electrochemical solar cell in 1991 attracted a lot of interest from scientists and industrial groups. From an industrial point of view these so-called dye-sensitised solar cells (DSCs) offered the promise of moderate efficiency devices at ultra-low costs, owing to simple processing methods and the use of inexpensive materials. From an academic viewpoint, DSCs raised important scientific questions around the fundamental processes governing their operation and how these processes influence the photon-to-electron conversion efficiency of the cell. Major successes have since been achieved in understanding these processes, however the conversion efficiency of the best manufactured DSCs remains around 11%, significantly lower than that of their silicon photovoltaic counterparts. In traditional DSCs, charge generation is achieved by ultrafast electron injection from a photo-excited ruthenium-based dye molecule into the conduction band of a film of TiO2 nanoparticles, subsequent dye regeneration by an I- /I-3 containing redox electrolyte and finally hole transportation to a platinum-coated counter electrode.