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Fabrication and Characterisation of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Fabrication and Characterisation of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Mary O'Sullivan. Originally submitted for PS451- Final Year Project at Dublin City University, with lecturer Prof. Colette McDonagh in the category of Physical Sciences
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Mary O'Sullivan. Originally submitted for PS451- Final Year Project at Dublin City University, with lecturer Prof. Colette McDonagh in the category of Physical Sciences

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 29, 2012
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12/23/2013

 
Fabrication and Characterisationof Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Date: 28
th
June 2011
Abstract
The dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC), in its modern form, was first constructed andtested in 1991[1]. Since then many advancements have been made in this area of research, culminating in a maximum efficiency of 10.4%[2]. In DSSCs a sensitizingdye is used as the energy collector, which injects electrons into a mesoporoussemiconductor layer under illumination. Electrons percolate through the TiO
2
layer onto a conductive substrate and through the external circuit. An iodide/triiodideelectrolyte is used to reduce the oxidised dye, and is then itself reduced at the counter electrode. A number of DSSCs based on the original Grätzel design were constructedin this project using a variety of sensitizing dyes, including N719 ruthenium dye andnatural dyes derived from blackberries and raspberries. Indoor and outdoomeasurements were conducted and comparisons were made between fabricated cellsand the literature. UV-VIS absorption measurements were carried out on the naturaldyes over prolonged solar exposure. A new ionogel electrolyte was tested andcompared to the iodide/triiodide standard. Utilizing limited supplies and facilities,non-negligable efficiencies of 0.017% and 0.007% were achieved under outdoor illumination conditions for ruthenium cells, from maximum output power values of 52.2(± 0.55)μW and 22.8(± 0.30)μW respectively.
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Table of Contents
SECTION NUMBER AND TITLE PAGE
GLOSSARY OF SYMBOLS ANDFORMULAE
......................................................................................................4
TABLE OF FIGURES
.......................................................................................5-6
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
1.1 Current Energy Crisis.............................................................................7-81.2 Historical Background.….......................................................................8-91.3General Solar Cell Theory1.3.1.Solar Cell Operation....................................................................9-101.3.2.Solar Cell Types.........................................................................10-131.4Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSCs) Theory1.4.1.DSSC Design – The Grätzel Cell..............................................13-151.4.2.Semiconductors & Electron Transport......................................15-171.4.3.Sensitizing Dyes........................................................................17-201.4.4.Electrolytes................................................................................20-211.4.5.Counter-Electrode and Conducting Substrates..........................21-221.4.6.1.5AM Standard and Solar Simulators......................................22-23
CHAPTER 2 – MATERIALS AND FABRICATION METHODS 
2.1ICE Kit and Proposed Experiment Design..........................................24-252.1.1TiO
2
Deposition and Annealing.................................................25-272.1.2Dye Preparation and Staining....................................................27-282.1.3Catalyst Application...................................................................282.1.4Cell Assembly and Testing.........................................................292.1.5I-V Measurements......................................................................29-312.1.6 Light Sources Used....................................................................312.2 Challenges Encountered2.2.1 Glass Cracking............................................................................312.2.2 TiO
2
Layer Cracking and Flaking................................................322.2.3 Inadequate Dye Staining.............................................................33
CHAPTER 3 -RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
3.1 Introduction..........................................................................................343.2 Ruthenium cells3.2.1 Performance over Time...............................................................35-363.2.2 Effect of Dye Concentration on Cell Performance.....................37-393.2.3 Effect of Light Source on Performance......................................39-413.2.4 Cell Degradation & UV-VIS Measurements..............................42-433.2.5 Summary of Ruthenium Cells....................................................443.3 Blackberry & Raspberry Cells3.3.1 Performance over Time..............................................................44-473.3.2 Effect of Light Source on Performance.....................................48 
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3.3.3 Cell Degradation &UV-VIS Measurements..............................48-503.3.4 Summary of Blackberry and Raspberry Cells...........................513.4 Natural cells vs. Ruthenium cells3.4.1 Performance Over Time.............................................................51-523.4.2 Effect of Light Source on Performance and Cell Stability.........52-533.5 Electrolyte Performance3.5.1 Ionogel Electrolyte......................................................................543.6 Error Analysis3.6.1 Quantitative & Qualitative Analysis of Errors...........................55-56
CHAPTER 4-CONCLUSIONS AND PERSPECTIVES
..........................57-58
REFERENCES
.............................................................................................59-63
BIBLIOGRAPHY
.........................................................................................63
APPENDICES 
APPENDIX 1 - Photospectrometer and UV-VIS Measurements..........64-66
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