Coupling gold nanoparticles to Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells for an increased efficiency


New approaches for coupling Au NPs to the photoanode of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) were proposed herein, aiming to improve the typical energy conversion efficiency of these cells. For this purpose, colloidal Au NPs with different particles sizes, similar to 5 nm and similar to 22 nm, were chemically synthesized and attached (i) directly to titanium dioxide (TiO2) or (ii) to TiO2 surface modified with siliceous shells enriched in dithiocarbamate moieties (SiO2/SiDTC). Photoanodes composed by films of TiO2 anatase, TiO2@Au NPs (similar to 5 nm and similar to 22 nm), or TiO2 functionalized with SiO2/SiDTC, loaded with colloidal Au NPs, were made. DSSCs were set-up in a typical sandwich configuration, using the photoanode, a Pt counter electrode, and an iodide electrolyte solution (I-/I-3(-)). In general, a relevant contribution in the plasmonic DSSC performance was evidenced by using Au NPs of similar to 22 nm loaded in different amounts 23.9 wt%, 31.0 wt% and 44.0 wt%. Photoanodes composed by 23.9% of Au yielded an increment of 14.40% in photocurrent and of 11.21% in the overall power conversion efficiency (PCE), when compared to the conventional one. In turn, the new strategy used in the chemical modification of the conventional photoanodes with dithiocarbamate groups showed also a significant improvement of the DSSC parameters. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



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Truta, LAANA; Pereira, S; Hora, C; Trindade, T; Sales, MGE

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The authors thank funding to the European Research Council through ERC-StG-3P's/2012, GA 311086. The authors also thank the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007679 (FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2013), funded by national funds through the FCT/MEC, and when appropriate co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement.

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