Enhancing the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells by adding diatom frustules into TiO 2 working electrodes

Der-Ray Huang*, Yan Jang Jiang, Run Lin Liou, Chih Han Chen, Yi An Chen, Chih Hung Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abstract In this study, diatom frustules were added into TiO 2 paste to prepare a TiO 2 -diatom paste mixture. Spin-coating and high-temperature sintering techniques were then used to fabricate working electrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Mixing the diatom frustules with the TiO 2 paste improved the light-trapping effect and scattering properties of the incident light in the TiO 2 -diatom working electrodes, thereby enhancing the power conversion efficiency of the DSSCs. In this study, a high-speed centrifugal processing technology and sedimentation-rate separation techniques were first used to obtain the diatom frustules, which were then mixed with the TiO 2 paste at a weight ratio of 1:50; a spin-coating technique was then used to fabricate the working electrodes. Finally, a high-temperature sintering process (500°C) was performed. In this study, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and a surface profiler and spectrometer were used to analyze the characteristics of the working electrodes. The TiO 2 or TiO 2 -diatom working electrodes were prepared under various spin-coating conditions for fabricating and analyzing the characteristics of the DSSCs. The results indicated that under identical conditions, the power conversion efficiency of the DSSCs was 3.81% when coated three times with a conventional TiO 2 paste, and 5.26% when coated once with the TiO 2 -diatom paste before being coated twice again with the TiO 2 paste, indicating a 38% increase in efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30157
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume347
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Diatom frustules
  • DSSCs
  • Scattering
  • Spin coating
  • TiO

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