The effects of incorporation of aluminum nitride (AlN) in the gel polymer electrolyte (GPE) of a quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) were studied in terms of performance of the cell. The electrolyte, consisting of lithium iodide (LiI), iodine (I2), and 4-tert-butylpyridine (TBP) in 3-methoxypropionitrile (MPN), was solidified with poly(vinyidene fluoride-co-hexafluoro propylene) (PVDF-HFP). The 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5 wt% of AlN were added to the electrolyte for this study. XRD analysis showed a reduction of crystallinity in the polymer PVDF-HFP for all the additions of AlN. The DSSC fabricated with a GPE containing 0.1 wt% AlN showed a short-circuit current density (JSC) and power-conversion efficiency (η) of 12.92±0.54 mA/cm2 and 5.27±0.23%, respectively, at 100 mW/cm2 illumination, in contrast to the corresponding values of 11.52±0.21 mA/cm2 and 4.75±0.08% for a cell without AlN. The increases both in JSC and in η of the promoted DSSC are attributed to the higher apparent diffusion coefficient of I- in its electrolyte (3.52×10-6 cm2/s), compared to that in the electrolyte without AlN of a DSSC (2.97×10-6 cm 2/s). At-rest stability of the quasi-solid-state DSSC with 0.1 wt% of AlN was found to decrease hardly by 5% and 7% at room temperature and at 40 °C, respectively, after 1000 h duration. The DSSC with a liquid electrolyte showed a decrease of about 40% at room temperature, while it virtually lost its performance in about 150 h at 40 °C. Explanations are further substantiated by means of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and by porosity measurements. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was financially supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) through the Global Research Partnership Centers-in-Development grant (KAUST GRP-CID). Some of the instruments used in this study were made available through the support of the National Science Council (NSC) of Taiwan, the Republic of China, under Grant nos. NSC 96-2120-M-002-016, NSC 97-2120-M-002-012, and NSC 98-2120-M-002-003.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.