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Surface plasma resonant effect of gold nanoparticles on the photoelectrodes of dye-sensitized solar cells

Teen-Hang Meen1*, Jenn-Kai Tsai1, Shi-Mian Chao2, Yu-Chien Lin1, Tien-Chuan Wu1, Tang-Yun Chang1, Liang-Wen Ji3, Walter Water1, Wen-Ray Chen1, I-Tseng Tang4 and Chien-Jung Huang5*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Electronic Engineering, National Formosa University, Hu-Wei, Yunlin 632, Taiwan

2 Department of Electrical Engineering, Hsiuping University of Science and Technology, Taichung 412, Taiwan

3 Institute of Electro-Optical and Materials Science, National Formosa University, Yunlin 632, Taiwan

4 Department of Greenergy, National University of Tainan, Tainan 700, Taiwan

5 Department of Applied Physics, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung 811, Taiwan

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:450  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-450

Published: 30 October 2013

Abstract

In this study, we prepared different shapes of gold nanoparticles by seed-mediated growth method and applied them on the photoelectrodes of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) to study the surface plasma resonant (SPR) effect of gold nanoparticles on the photoelectrodes of dye-sensitized solar cells. The analyses of field emission scanning electron microscopy show that the average diameter of the spherical gold nanoparticles is 45 nm, the average length and width of the short gold nanorods were 55 and 22 nm, respectively, and the average length and width of the long gold nanorods were 55 and 14 nm, respectively. The aspect ratio of the short and long gold nanorods was about 2.5 and 4, respectively. The results of ultraviolet–visible absorption spectra show that the absorption wavelength is about 540 nm for spherical gold nanoparticles, and the absorption of the gold nanorods reveals two peaks. One is about 510 to 520 nm, and the other is about 670 and 710 nm for the short and long gold nanorods, respectively. The best conversion efficiency of the dye-sensitized solar cells with spherical gold nanoparticles and short and long gold nanorods added in is 6.77%, 7.08%, and 7.29%, respectively, and is higher than that of the cells without gold nanoparticles, which is 6.21%. This result indicates that the effect of gold nanoparticles on the photoelectrodes can increase the conductivity and reduce the recombination of charges in the photoelectrodes, resulting in the increase of conversion efficiency for DSSCs. In addition, the long gold nanorods have stronger SPR effect than the spherical gold nanoparticles and short gold nanorods at long wavelength. This may be the reason for the higher conversion efficiency of DSSCs with long gold nanorods than those of the cells with spherical gold nanoparticles and short gold nanorods.

Keywords:
Gold nanoparticles; Dye-sensitized solar cells; Seed-mediated growth method