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Barry McKenna, Rachel C Evans
Single-junction photovoltaic devices exhibit a bottleneck in their efficiency due to incomplete or inefficient harvesting of photons in the low- or high-energy regions of the solar spectrum. Spectral converters can be used to convert solar photons into energies that are more effectively captured by the photovoltaic device through a photoluminescence process. Here, recent advances in the fields of luminescent solar concentration, luminescent downshifting, and upconversion are discussed. The focus is specifically on the role that materials science has to play in overcoming barriers in the optical performance in all spectral converters and on their successful integration with both established (e...
May 19, 2017: Advanced Materials
Yue Lou, Wenjie Zhao, Chunguang Li, He Huang, Tianyu Bai, Cailing Chen, Chen Liang, Zhan Shi, Dong Zhang, Xiao-Bo Chen, Shouhua Feng
In this research, we reported the synthesis of quaternary Cu3InSnSe5 nanoparticles with uniform size distribution and morphology for the first time through delicate controls over the chemical reaction kinetics. On the basis of the preparation strategy of Cu3InSnSe5 nanoparticles, Pt-Cu3InSnSe5 and Au-Cu3InSnSe5 heteronanostructures were designed and yielded using a simple and efficient seed growth method. These two heteronanostructures remained monodispersed without presence of any Cu3InSnSe5 nanocrystal impurities...
May 17, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Mingyue Li, Meiya Li, Yongdan Zhu, Yiwen Tang, Lihua Bai, Wen Lei, Zhen Wang, Xing-Zhong Zhao
The Au nanoparticles sandwitched double spheric-shells of SiO2@Au@TiO2 (SAT) microspheres are synthesized. The significant influence of the SAT microspheres on the properties of the dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is investigated. Studies indicate that the introduction of the SAT has markedly enhanced the light scattering and capture ability and thus the photogenerated electrons. The DSSC doping with 2.25 wt% of SAT exhibits the maximum short circuit current density of 17.0 mA cm-2 and photoelectric conversion efficiency of 7...
May 16, 2017: Nanotechnology
Weiwei Zhang, Yongzhen Wu, Xin Li, Erpeng Li, Xiongrong Song, Huiyun Jiang, Chao Shen, Hao Zhang, He Tian, Wei-Hong Zhu
In dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), it is essential to use rational molecular design to obtain promising photosensitizers with well-matched energy levels and narrow optical band gaps. However, the "trade-off" effect between the photocurrent and photovoltage is still a challenge. Here we report four benzoxidazole based D-A-π-A metal-free organic dyes (WS-66, WS-67, WS-68 and WS-69) with different combinations of π-spacer units and anchoring-acceptor groups. Either extending the π-spacer or enhancing the electron acceptor can efficiently modulate the molecular energy levels, leading to a red-shift in the absorption spectra...
March 1, 2017: Chemical Science
Shuang Li, Huiyu Zhang, Rong Lu, Anchi Yu
Triethanolamine (TEOA) has been often used as a hole-scavenger in dye-sensitized semiconductor photocatalytic systems. However, the femtosecond time-resolved kinetics of the interaction between a sensitized dye and TEOA has not been reported in literatures. Herein, we selected four commonly used xanthene dyes, such as fluorescein, dibromofluorescein, eosin Y, and erythrosine B, and studied their ultrafast fluorescence quenching dynamics in the presence of TEOA in aqueous solution, respectively, by using both femtosecond transient absorption and time-resolved fluorescence measurements...
May 6, 2017: Spectrochimica Acta. Part A, Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Sheng-Qi Guo, Ling-Chang Wang, Chen-Guang Zhang, Gao-Can Qi, Bing-Chuan Gu, Lu Liu, Zhi-Hao Yuan
The catalytic activity of counter electrodes (CEs) severely restricts the photovoltaic conversion efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. However, electrons trapped by bulk defects greatly reduce the catalytic activity of the CE. In this study, we report a novel In2S3-C-Au hybrid structure designed by simply decorating Au particles on the surface of carbon-coated hierarchical In2S3 flower-like architectures, which could avoid the abovementioned problems. This effect can be attributed to the unique contribution of indium sulfide, carbon, and Au from the hybrid structure, as well as to their synergy...
May 12, 2017: Nanoscale
Ji He, Yang Liu, Jianrong Gao, Liang Han
Three D-D-π-A triphenylamine-coumarin sensitizers were designed and synthesized with a triphenylamine and coumarin double donor and a cyanoacrylic acid acceptor. Thiophene, bithiophene and phenylthiophene were used as π-bridges, respectively, and the effects of different π-bridges on the photophysical properties and photovoltaic performance were investigated. With the incorporation of an additional thiophene unit, the bithiophene π-bridge contributes to better light absorption and hence superior JSC compared with the thiophene π-bridge...
May 12, 2017: Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences
Ming Chen, Leng-Leng Shao, Zhong-Yong Yuan, Qiangshan Jing, Ke-Jing Huang, Zhongyuan Huang, Xiang-Hua Zhao, Guo-Dong Zou
Hydrothermal treatment of nickel acetate and phosphoric acid aqueous solution followed with a carbothermal reduction assisted phosphorization process using sucrose as carbon source for the controlled synthesis of NixPy/C has been successfully realized for the first time. The critical synthesis factors including reduction temperature, phosphorus/nickel ratio, pH value and sucrose amount are systematically investigated. Remarkably, the carbon serves as a reducer, plays a determinative role in the transformation of Ni2P2O7 into Ni2P/C...
May 11, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Shuwei Hao, Yunfei Shang, Deyang Li, Hans Ågren, Chunhui Yang, Guanying Chen
The inability to utilize near infrared (NIR) light has posed a stringent limitation for the efficiencies of most single-junction photovoltaic cells such as dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Here, we describe a strategy to alleviate the NIR light harvesting problem by upconverting non-responsive NIR light in a broad spectral range (over 190 nm, 670-860 nm) to narrow solar-cell-responsive visible emissions through incorporated dye-sensitized upconversion nanoparticles (DSUCNPs). Unlike typically reported UCNPs with narrow and low NIR absorption, the organic dyes (IR783) anchored on the DSUCNP surface were able to harvest NIR photons broadly and efficiently, and then transfer the harvested energy to the inorganic UCNPs (typically reported), entailing an efficient visible upconversion...
May 9, 2017: Nanoscale
Mateusz Gierszewski, Adam Glinka, Iwona Grądzka, Mariusz Jancelewicz, Marcin Ziółek
The dynamics of electron transfer at the dye-titania and titania-electrolyte interfaces is investigated in two post-sensitization processes: (i) atomic layer deposition of blocking alumina coating and (ii) hierarchical molecular multicapping. To measure the electron transfer dynamics, time-resolved spectroscopic methods (femtosecond transient absorption on the time scale from femtoseconds to nanoseconds and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy on the time scale from milliseconds to seconds) are applied to the complete dye-sensitized solar cells with cobalt-based electrolyte and champion ADEKA-1 dye (with silyl-anchor unit) or its popular carboxyl-anchor analogue, MK-2 dye...
May 12, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Shuai Gu, Enbing Bi, Bitian Fu, Gjergj Dodbiba, Toyohisa Fujita, David P Wilkinson, Yuezhou Wei, Baizeng Fang
An innovative Pt-free counter electrode was developed through which an electrolyte solution could be circulated in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) to facilitate mass transfer, resulting in greatly suppressed charge recombination and a considerably enhanced electron lifetime, and accordingly much higher power conversion efficiency than a DSC with a stationary electrolyte.
May 5, 2017: Chemical Communications: Chem Comm
Renato N Sampaio, Andressa V Müller, André S Polo, Gerald J Meyer
Four complexes of the general form cis-Ru(phen')(dcb)(NCS)2, where dcb is 4,4'-(CO2H)2-2,2'-bipyridine and phen' is 1,10-phenanthroline (phen), 4,7-(C6H5)2-phen (Ph2-phen), 4,7-(CH3)2-phen (Me2-phen), or 3,4,7,8-(CH3)4-phen (Me4-phen), were anchored to mesoporous TiO2 thin films for applications as sensitizers in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The compounds displayed metal based reductions E(o)(Ru(III/II)) = 1.01 ± 0.05 V vs NHE and were potent reductants competent of excited-state electron transfer to TiO2 with yields ϕinj ≥ 0...
May 4, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Yihui Wu, Bin Zhou, Chi Yang, Xin Zhou, Wen-Hua Zhang
Bismuth-based ternary nanowires (NWs), including Bi19S27Br3 and Bi19S27I3, have been exploited as cost-effective and highly efficient Pt-free electrocatalysts in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Devices with them as counter electrodes (CEs) display a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of over 8.70%, superior to that of a cell with Pt as a CE (7.99% PCE) under the same conditions.
May 11, 2017: Chemical Communications: Chem Comm
Annkatrin Lennert, Michelle Sternberg, Karsten Meyer, Rubén D Costa, Dirk M Guldi
In the current work, novel symmetrically alkyl-substituted imidazolium-based ionic liquids have been synthesized featuring either iodide (I(-)) or selenocyanate (SeCN(-)) as counteranions. Physicochemical assays based on spectroscopy and electrochemistry techniques have been performed to identify the best ionic liquid for application as electrolytes in quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells (qssDSSC). The latter were mixed with additives such as 4-tert-butylpyridine (4tbpy) and guanidinium thiocyanate (GuSCN) to optimize electrode surface coverage, ionic diffusion, and dye regeneration...
April 27, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Nalaka P Liyanage, Hammad Cheema, Alexandra R Baumann, Alexa R Zylstra, Jared Heath Delcamp
NIR absorbing organic dyes are critically needed in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). Thieno[3,4-b]pyrazine (TPz) based dyes can access the near-infrared (NIR) spectral region and show power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of up to 8.1% with sunlight being converted at wavelengths up to 800 nm for 17.6 mA/cm2 of photocurrent in a co-sensitized DSC device. Precisely controlling dye excited-state energies is critical for good performances in NIR DSCs. Strategies to control TPz dye energetics with stronger donor groups and TPz substituent choice are evaluated in this manuscript...
April 25, 2017: ChemSusChem
Luca Passoni, Francesco Fumagalli, Andrea Perego, Sebastiano Bellani, Piero Mazzolini, Fabio di Fonzo
Monolithic dye sensitized solar cell architectures hold great potential for building integrated photovoltaics applications. They indeed benefit from lower weight and manufacturing costs as they avoid the use of a transparent conductive oxide coated glass counter electrode. In this work a transparent monolithic dye-sensitized solar cell comprising hierarchical 1D nanostructures stack is fabricated by physical vapour deposition techniques. The proof of concept device comprises hyperbranched TiO<sub>2 </sub> nanostructures, sensitized by the prototypical N719, as photoanode, a hierarchical nanoporous Al<sub>2 </sub>O<sub>3 </sub> spacer and a microporous ITO top electrode...
April 25, 2017: Nanotechnology
Gibum Kwon, Divya Panchanathan, Seyed Reza Mahmoudi, Mohammed A Gondal, Gareth H McKinley, Kripa K Varanasi
Photoresponsive titania surfaces are of great interest due to their unique wettability change upon ultraviolet light illumination. However, their applications are often limited either by the inability to respond to visible light or the need for special treatment to recover the original wettability. Sensitizing TiO2 surfaces with visible light-absorbing materials has been utilized in photovoltaic applications. Here we demonstrate that a dye-sensitized TiO2 surface can selectively change the wettability towards contacting liquids upon visible light illumination due to a photo-induced voltage across the liquid and the underlying surface...
April 25, 2017: Nature Communications
Qunwei Tang, Min Wang, Zhongling Wang, Weiyin Sun, Ruoxu Shang
An all-weather quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell is built using a long persistence phosphor tailored mesoscopic TiO2 photoanode and a three-dimensional conducting polymer gel electrolyte. The so-called all-weather solar cell yields a maximum efficiency of 28.7% in the dark, making a promising photovoltaic revolutionary for state-of-the-art photovoltaics.
April 18, 2017: Chemical Communications: Chem Comm
Fabrice Odobel, Yoann Farre, Mahfoudh Raissi, Arnaud Fihey, Yann Pellegrin, Errol Blart, Denis Jacquemin
We have prepared a series of four new diketopyrrolopyrroles (DPPs) based sensitizers that exhibit high molar extinction coefficients, extended absorption into the long wavelengths and well suited photoredox properties to act as sensitizers in p-DSSCs. These new DPP dyes, composed of a thienyl DPP core, are substituted on one end either by a thiophene carboxylic (Th) or a 4,4'-((phenyl)aza)dibenzoic acid as anchoring group and, on the other extremity, either by a proton or a naphthalene diimide (NDI) moiety...
April 14, 2017: ChemSusChem
Pooya Tahay, Meisam Babapour Gol Afshani, Ali Alavi, Zahra Parsa, Nasser Safari
In order to provide a comprehensive investigation of TiO2 nanoparticle size in relation with different dye types in DSSCs, three sizes of TiO2 nanoparticles and two different dye types including a porphyrin dye (T2) and a ruthenium dye (N3) were synthesized. Steady state current-voltage (J-V) characteristics were investigated for the fabricated DSSCs and the results demonstrated that the optimum TiO2 nanoparticle size changed with the dye type. The obtained J-V data were interpreted by cyclic voltammetry, UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, BET measurement, DFT calculation, IPCE measurement and impedance spectroscopy...
April 12, 2017: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
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