Effect of pore size/distribution in TiO2 films on agarose gel electrolyte-based dye-sensitized solar cells

Hsin Ling Hsu, Cheng Fang Tien, Leu-Jih Perng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This study develops a simple method to change the distribution of the pore size in a TiO2 layer, using polyethylene glycol (PEG), while maintaining nearly the same surface area and porosity to clarify how large pores affect the performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Specifically, a heating step at 100 °C for a specific duration is added prior to PEGremoval and TiO2 sintering at 400 °C. This process transforms the role of the PEG from a surfactant to a pore generator (porogen) and forms larger pores, depending on the loading and aggregation time for the PEG to gain larger pores. The effect of larger pores in TiO2 films under 30 % PEG loading, on the performance of an agarose gel electrolyte-based DSSC, was further investigated using the ionic liquid, 1-allyl-3- ethylimidazolium iodide (AEII). The I-V characteristic and the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis show that larger pores readily improve redox couple diffusion in a TiO 2 porous electrode and modify the interface between electrolyte and TiO2. Using the optimized TiO2 film with larger pores (30 % PEG loading, 100 °C/60 min), an efficiency of 7.43 % is achieved for the agarose gel electrolyte-based DSSC, which represents a 26.1 % improvement over TiO2 without the addition of PEG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1665-1671
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Solid State Electrochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Agarose gel
  • Dye-sensitized solar cell
  • Ionic liquids
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Pore size distribution

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