We review systematically the kinetic characterisation of electron transport and charge recombination in dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSC) using both temporally resolved and frequency-domain techniques. For the temporally resolved approach, charge extraction (CE), transient-photocurrent decay (TCD) and transient-photovoltage decay (TVD) methods are introduced in detail; for the frequency-domain approach, techniques involving electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), intensity-modulated photocurrent spectroscopy (IMPS) and intensity-modulated photovoltage spectroscopy (IMVS) are presented in detail. The TCD and TVD data are obtained under short-circuit and open-circuit conditions, respectively, and the electron diffusion coefficients and electron lifetimes are extracted from fitting the decay curves accordingly; the IMPS/IMVS results are the counterparts of the TCD/TVD results in the frequency domain. Even though the EIS results are readily acquired, an accurate interpretation of the data requires an appropriate model to determine the internal features of the device. This review provides an account of each technique about its operating principle, experimental setup and data analysis. As case studies for each technique, examples are given to rationalise the observed potential shift, decay coefficients of electron transport and of charge recombination in relation to the corresponding photovoltaic performance of the device.
- Charge extraction
- Dye-sensitised solar cells
- Impedance spectroscopy
- Transient photoelectric decays