Standard Article

Dye–Sensitized Solar Cells: An Overview

  1. Luísa Andrade,
  2. Helena Aguilar Ribeiro,
  3. Adélio Mendes

Published Online: 18 JAN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia821

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Andrade, L., Ribeiro, H. A. and Mendes, A. 2011. Dye–Sensitized Solar Cells: An Overview. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 JAN 2011


Today, a particular interest in the development of alternative energy sources arises, especially motivated by the need of decreasing the dependency on fossil-fuel resources, and also for the prospect of reducing CO2 emissions. An attractive strategy to overcome the present energy problem is using renewable energy sources, such as the solar radiation, for producing clean energy. This article describes the main features of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), explaining their structure and working principles, and highlighting the characteristics of the main materials for high-performance DSCs. After this brief discussion, the fundamentals behind electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) are described in order to allow the interpretation of the charge-transfer kinetics of the different phenomena occurring in a DSC under operation. A phenomenological model addressing the major charge-transfer mechanisms and energy losses is presented for a better understanding of the factors that limit the performance of DSCs. While a steady-state approach allows the construction of the current-voltage characteristics of the cell, the transient approach model is an invaluable tool to relate the phenomenological behavior with certain dynamic techniques, such as EIS.


  • solar energy;
  • photochemistry;
  • dye-sensitized solar cells;
  • electrochemical impedance spectroscopy;
  • electrical analogs;
  • modeling and simulation