Layer-by-Layer Formation of Block-Copolymer-Derived TiO2 for Solid-State Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Stefan Guldin, Pablo Docampo, Morgan Stefik, Gen Kamita, Ulrich Wiesner, Henry J. Snaith, Ullrich Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Morphology control on the 10 nm length scale in mesoporous TiO 2 films is crucial for the manufacture of high-performance dye-sensitized solar cells. While the combination of block-copolymer self-assembly with sol-gel chemistry yields good results for very thin films, the shrinkage during the film manufacture typically prevents the build-up of sufficiently thick layers to enable optimum solar cell operation. Here, a study on the temporal evolution of block-copolymer-directed mesoporous TiO 2 films during annealing and calcination is presented. The in-situ investigation of the shrinkage process enables the establishment of a simple and fast protocol for the fabrication of thicker films. When used as photoanodes in solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells, the mesoporous networks exhibit significantly enhanced transport and collection rates compared to the state-of-the-art nanoparticle-based devices. As a consequence of the increased film thickness, power conversion efficiencies above 4% are reached. Fabrication of sufficiently thick mesoporous TiO 2 photoelectrodes with morphology control on the 10 nm length scale is essential for solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells (ss-DSC). This study of the temporal evolution of block-copolymer-directed mesoporous TiO 2 films during annealing and calcination enables the build-up of sufficiently thick films for high-performance ssDSC devices. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-440
Number of pages9
JournalSmall
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-018-02
Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge Dr. M. Kolle for help with graphics design and Prof. D. Eder for useful discussions. This publication is based on work supported in part by Award No. KUS-C1-018-02, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 246124, the EPSRC (EP/F056702/1 and EP/F065884/1), the Department of Energy (DE-FG02 87ER45298) through the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute (CFCI), and the National Science Foundation (DMR-1104773). M. S. was supported by the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute and the Energy Materials Center at Cornell (EMC2), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001086.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

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