Improved conductivity in dye-sensitised solar cells through block-copolymer confined TiO 2 crystallisation

Stefan Guldin, Sven Hüttner, Priti Tiwana, M. Christopher Orilall, Burak Ülgüt, Morgan Stefik, Pablo Docampo, Matthias Kolle, Giorgio Divitini, Caterina Ducati, Simon A. T. Redfern, Henry J. Snaith, Ulrich Wiesner, Dominik Eder, Ullrich Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Anatase TiO2 is typically a central component in high performance dye-sensitised solar cells (DSCs). This study demonstrates the benefits of high temperature synthesised mesoporous titania for the performance of solid-state DSCs. In contrast to earlier methods, the high temperature stability of mesoporous titania is enabled by the self-assembly of the amphiphilic block copolymer polyisoprene-block-polyethylene oxide (PI-b -PEO) which compartmentalises TiO2 crystallisation, preventing the collapse of porosity at temperatures up to 700 °C. The systematic study of the temperature dependence on DSC performance reveals a parameter trade-off: high temperature annealed anatase consisted of larger crystallites and had a higher conductivity, but this came at the expense of a reduced specific surface area. While the reduction in specific surface areas was found to be detrimental for liquid-electrolyte DSC performance, solid-state DSCs benefitted from the increased anatase conductivity and exhibited a performance increase by a factor of three. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Environ. Sci.
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was funded in part by the EPSRC Nanotechnology Grand Challenges Energy grant (EP/F056702/1), and EP/F065884/1, the Department of Energy (DE-FG02 87ER45298) through the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute (CFCI), the National Science Foundation (DMR-0605856), and the Cornell Universiy KAUST Center for Research and Education. SG acknowledges support by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and CD thanks the Royal Society for funding. We thank T. Abraham for help with the XRD measurements, P. Laity for help with SAXS measurements, and P. Muller-Buschbaum for useful discussions.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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