skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Molecular and Material Approaches to Overcome Kinetic and Energetic Constraints in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Abstract

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have attracted a lot of interest as they proffer the possibility of extremely inexpensive and efficient solar energy conversion. The excellent performance of the most efficient DSSCs relies on two main features: 1) a high surface area nanoparticle semiconductor photoanode to allow for excellent light absorption with moderate extinction molecular dyes and 2) slow recombination rates from the photoanode to I 3 - allowing good charge collection. The I 3 -/I - couple, however, has some disadvantages, notably the redox potential limits the maximum open-circuit voltage, and the dye regeneration requires a large driving force which constrains the light harvesting ability. Thus, the design features that allow DSSCs to perform as well as they do also prevent further significant improvements in performance. As a consequence, the most efficient device configuration, and the maximum efficiency, has remained essentially unchanged over the last 16 years. Significant gains in performance are possible; however it will likely require a substantial paradigm shift. The general goal of this project is to understand the fundamental role of dye-sensitized solar cell, DSSC, components (sensitizer, redox shuttle, and photoanode) involved in key processes in order to overcome the kinetic and energetic constraints of currentmore » generation DSSCs. For example, the key to achieving high energy conversion efficiency DSSCs is the realization of a redox shuttle which fulfills the dual requirements of 1) efficient dye regeneration with a minimal driving force and 2) efficient charge collection. In current generation DSSCs, however, only one or the other of these requirements is met. We are currently primarily interested in understanding the physical underpinnings of the regeneration and recombination reactions. Our approach is to systematically vary the components involved in reactions and interrogate them with a series of photoelectrochemical (PEC) measurements. The lessons learned will ultimately be used to develop design rules for next generation DSSCs.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1338205
Report Number(s):
DOE-MSU-0006956-1
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0006956
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY

Citation Formats

Hamann, Thomas. Molecular and Material Approaches to Overcome Kinetic and Energetic Constraints in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1338205.
Hamann, Thomas. Molecular and Material Approaches to Overcome Kinetic and Energetic Constraints in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells. United States. doi:10.2172/1338205.
Hamann, Thomas. Sun . "Molecular and Material Approaches to Overcome Kinetic and Energetic Constraints in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells". United States. doi:10.2172/1338205. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1338205.
@article{osti_1338205,
title = {Molecular and Material Approaches to Overcome Kinetic and Energetic Constraints in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells},
author = {Hamann, Thomas},
abstractNote = {Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have attracted a lot of interest as they proffer the possibility of extremely inexpensive and efficient solar energy conversion. The excellent performance of the most efficient DSSCs relies on two main features: 1) a high surface area nanoparticle semiconductor photoanode to allow for excellent light absorption with moderate extinction molecular dyes and 2) slow recombination rates from the photoanode to I3- allowing good charge collection. The I3-/I- couple, however, has some disadvantages, notably the redox potential limits the maximum open-circuit voltage, and the dye regeneration requires a large driving force which constrains the light harvesting ability. Thus, the design features that allow DSSCs to perform as well as they do also prevent further significant improvements in performance. As a consequence, the most efficient device configuration, and the maximum efficiency, has remained essentially unchanged over the last 16 years. Significant gains in performance are possible; however it will likely require a substantial paradigm shift. The general goal of this project is to understand the fundamental role of dye-sensitized solar cell, DSSC, components (sensitizer, redox shuttle, and photoanode) involved in key processes in order to overcome the kinetic and energetic constraints of current generation DSSCs. For example, the key to achieving high energy conversion efficiency DSSCs is the realization of a redox shuttle which fulfills the dual requirements of 1) efficient dye regeneration with a minimal driving force and 2) efficient charge collection. In current generation DSSCs, however, only one or the other of these requirements is met. We are currently primarily interested in understanding the physical underpinnings of the regeneration and recombination reactions. Our approach is to systematically vary the components involved in reactions and interrogate them with a series of photoelectrochemical (PEC) measurements. The lessons learned will ultimately be used to develop design rules for next generation DSSCs.},
doi = {10.2172/1338205},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {8}
}