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Solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells based on ZnO nanoparticle and nanorod array hybrid photoanodes

Tao-Hua Lee1, Hung-Jue Sue23 and Xing Cheng12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

3 Polymer Technology Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:517  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-517

Published: 1 September 2011

Abstract

The effect of ZnO photoanode morphology on the performance of solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is reported. Four different structures of dye-loaded ZnO layers have been fabricated in conjunction with poly(3-hexylthiophene). A significant improvement in device efficiency with ZnO nanorod arrays as photoanodes has been achieved by filling the interstitial voids of the nanorod arrays with ZnO nanoparticles. The overall power conversion efficiency increases from 0.13% for a nanorod-only device to 0.34% for a device with combined nanoparticles and nanorod arrays. The higher device efficiency in solid-state DSSCs with hybrid nanorod/nanoparticle photoanodes is originated from both large surface area provided by nanoparticles for dye adsorption and efficient charge transport provided by the nanorod arrays to reduce the recombinations of photogenerated carriers.

Keywords:
organic photovoltaic; ZnO; nanoparticle; nanorod