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Title: Optimizing photovoltaic performance in CuInS 2 and CdS quantum dot-sensitized solar cells by using an agar-based gel polymer electrolyte

Abstract

Quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs) offer new opportunities to address the clean energy challenge, being one of the top candidates for third generation photovoltaics. Like dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), QDSSCs normally use liquid electrolytes that suffer from issues such as evaporation or leakage. In this study a gel polysulfide electrolyte was prepared containing a natural polymer, agar, and was used as a quasi-solid-state electrolyte in solar cells to replace the conventional liquid electrolytes. This gel electrolyte shows almost the same conductivity as the liquid one. The solar cells were fabricated using CuInS 2 quantum dots (QDs), previously synthesized, deposited on TiO 2 photoanodes by electrophoretic deposition (EPD). CdS was deposited on TiO 2 by successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR). Reduced graphene oxide (RGO)–Cu 2S, brass, and thin film CuxS were used as counter electrodes. Compared to a liquid polysulfide water based electrolyte, solar cells based on CuInS 2 and CdS using gel polymer electrolyte (GPE) exhibit greater incident photon to current conversion efficiency (IPCE = 51.7% at 520 nm and 72.7% at 440 nm), photocurrent density (J sc = 10.75 and 13.51 mA cm -2), and power conversion efficiency (η = 2.97 and 2.98%) while exhibiting significantly enhancedmore » stability. The solar cells employing the agar-based gel polymeric electrolyte are about a factor of 0.20 more stable than using a liquid electrolyte. The higher photovoltaic performance is due to the good conductivity and high wettability as well as the superior permeation capability of the gel electrolyte into the mesoporous matrix of a TiO 2 film« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States); Univ. of Sao Joao del-Rei (Brazil)
  2. Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States)
  3. Univ. of Sao Joao del-Rei (Brazil)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Chemical Sciences, Geosciences & Biosciences Division
OSTI Identifier:
1425981
Grant/Contract Number:
FC02-02ER63421
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
RSC Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 2046-2069
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY

Citation Formats

Raphael, E., Jara, D. H., and Schiavon, M. A. Optimizing photovoltaic performance in CuInS 2 and CdS quantum dot-sensitized solar cells by using an agar-based gel polymer electrolyte. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1039/c6ra27635k.
Raphael, E., Jara, D. H., & Schiavon, M. A. Optimizing photovoltaic performance in CuInS 2 and CdS quantum dot-sensitized solar cells by using an agar-based gel polymer electrolyte. United States. doi:10.1039/c6ra27635k.
Raphael, E., Jara, D. H., and Schiavon, M. A. Thu . "Optimizing photovoltaic performance in CuInS 2 and CdS quantum dot-sensitized solar cells by using an agar-based gel polymer electrolyte". United States. doi:10.1039/c6ra27635k. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1425981.
@article{osti_1425981,
title = {Optimizing photovoltaic performance in CuInS 2 and CdS quantum dot-sensitized solar cells by using an agar-based gel polymer electrolyte},
author = {Raphael, E. and Jara, D. H. and Schiavon, M. A.},
abstractNote = {Quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs) offer new opportunities to address the clean energy challenge, being one of the top candidates for third generation photovoltaics. Like dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), QDSSCs normally use liquid electrolytes that suffer from issues such as evaporation or leakage. In this study a gel polysulfide electrolyte was prepared containing a natural polymer, agar, and was used as a quasi-solid-state electrolyte in solar cells to replace the conventional liquid electrolytes. This gel electrolyte shows almost the same conductivity as the liquid one. The solar cells were fabricated using CuInS2 quantum dots (QDs), previously synthesized, deposited on TiO2 photoanodes by electrophoretic deposition (EPD). CdS was deposited on TiO2 by successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR). Reduced graphene oxide (RGO)–Cu2S, brass, and thin film CuxS were used as counter electrodes. Compared to a liquid polysulfide water based electrolyte, solar cells based on CuInS2 and CdS using gel polymer electrolyte (GPE) exhibit greater incident photon to current conversion efficiency (IPCE = 51.7% at 520 nm and 72.7% at 440 nm), photocurrent density (Jsc = 10.75 and 13.51 mA cm-2), and power conversion efficiency (η = 2.97 and 2.98%) while exhibiting significantly enhanced stability. The solar cells employing the agar-based gel polymeric electrolyte are about a factor of 0.20 more stable than using a liquid electrolyte. The higher photovoltaic performance is due to the good conductivity and high wettability as well as the superior permeation capability of the gel electrolyte into the mesoporous matrix of a TiO2 film},
doi = {10.1039/c6ra27635k},
journal = {RSC Advances},
number = 11,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jan 19 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Thu Jan 19 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Journal Article:
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  • TiO{sub 2} branched nanostructures could be efficient as photoanodes for quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs) due to their large surface area for QD deposition. In this study, Mn-doped CdS/Mn-doped CdSe deposited branched TiO{sub 2} nanorods were fabricated to enhance the photovoltaic performance of QDSCs. Mn doping in CdS and CdSe retards the recombination losses of electrons, while branched TiO{sub 2} nanorods facilitate effective electron transport and compensate for the low surface area of the nanorod structure. As a result, the charge-transfer resistance (R{sub CT}), electron lifetime (τ{sub e}), and the amount of QD deposition were significantly improved with branched TiO{submore » 2} nanorod based Mn-doped CdS/Mn-doped CdSe quantum dot-sensitized solar cell.« less
  • This work describes the effect of 2-aminopyrimidine (2-APY) on poly(vinylidinefluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP)/polyethylene oxide (PEO) blend polymer electrolyte along with binary iodide salts (tetrabutylammonium iodide (TBAI) and potassium iodide (KI)) and iodine (I{sub 2}) were studied for enhancing the efficiency of the dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) consisting of g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}/TiO{sub 2} composite as photoanode. The g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4} was synthesized from low cost urea by thermal condensation method. It was used as a precursor to synthesize the various weight percentage ratios (5%, 10% and 15%) of g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}/TiO{sub 2} composites by wet-impregnation method. The pure and 2-APY incorporated PVDF-HFP/PEO polymermore » blend electrolytes were arranged by wet chemical process (casting method) using DMF as a solvent. The synthesized g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}/TiO{sub 2} composites and polymer blend electrolytes were studied and analyzed by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometer (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The ionic conductivity values of the pure and 2-APY incorporated PVDF-HFP/PEO blend electrolytes were estimated to be 4.53×10{sup −5} and 1.87×10{sup −4} Scm{sup −1} respectively. The UV–vis absorption spectroscopy was carried out for the pure and different wt% of g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}/TiO{sub 2} composites coated FTO films after N3 dye-sensitization. The 10 wt% g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}/TiO{sub 2} composite film showed a maximum absorption compared to the others. The DSSC assembled with 10 wt% g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}/TiO{sub 2} as photoanode using the pure polymer blend electrolyte exhibited a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 3.17% , which was superior than that of DSSC based pure TiO{sub 2} (2.46%). However, the PCE was increased to 4.73% for the DSSC assembled using 10 wt% g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}/TiO{sub 2} as photoanode with 2-APY incorporated polymer blend electrolyte. Hence, the present study is a successful attempt to provide a new pathway to enhance the performance of DSSCs. - Graphical abstract: In this study, the g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4} was synthesized from low cost urea and it was used as a precursor to synthesize of g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}/TiO{sub 2} composite. The pure and 2-APY incorporated PVDF-HFP/PEO electrolytes were fabricated by solution casting method. A remarkably enhanced PCE of 4.73% was observed for 2-APY incorporated PVDF-HFP/PEO electrolyte with g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}/TiO{sub 2} composite photoanode based DSSC. - Highlights: • 2-APY added PVDF-HFP/PEO electrolyte was prepared by solution casting method. • The g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}/TiO{sub 2} composites were synthesized by wet-impregnation method. • DSSC with g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4}/TiO{sub 2} and 2-APY added electrolyte showed the efficiency of 4.73 %. • The g-C{sub 3}N{sub 4} and 2-APY can be a useful dopant to enhance the performance of DSSCs.« less
  • Building-integrated sunlight harvesting utilizing laminated glass luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) is proposed. By incorporating high quantum yield (>90%), NIR-emitting CuInS2/ZnS quantum dots into the polymer interlayer between two sheets of low-iron float glass, a record optical efficiency of 8.1% is demonstrated for a 10 cm x 10 cm device that transmits ~44% visible light. After completing prototypes by attaching silicon solar cells along the perimeter of the device, the electrical power conversion efficiency was certified at 2.2% with a black background and at 2.9% using a reflective substrate. This 'drop-in' LSC solution is particularly attractive because it fits within themore » existing glazing industry value chain with only modest changes to typical glazing products. Performance modeling predicts >1 GWh annual electricity production for a typical urban skyscraper in most major U.S. cities, enabling significant energy cost savings and potentially 'net-zero' buildings.« less