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Transparent, Double-Sided, ITO-Free, Flexible Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Based on Metal Wire/ZnO Nanowire Arrays

Authors

  • Wei Wang,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Mesoscopic Physics and Electron Microscopy Laboratory, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China
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  • Qing Zhao,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory for Mesoscopic Physics and Electron Microscopy Laboratory, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China
    • State Key Laboratory for Mesoscopic Physics and Electron Microscopy Laboratory, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China.
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  • Heng Li,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Mesoscopic Physics and Electron Microscopy Laboratory, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China
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  • Hongwei Wu,

    1. Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China
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  • Dechun Zou,

    1. Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China
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  • Dapeng Yu

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory for Mesoscopic Physics and Electron Microscopy Laboratory, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China
    • State Key Laboratory for Mesoscopic Physics and Electron Microscopy Laboratory, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, P. R. China.
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Abstract

Transparent, double-sided, flexible, ITO-free dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are fabricated in a simple, facile, and controllable way. Highly ordered, high-crystal-quality, high-density ZnO nanowire arrays are radially grown on stainless steel, Au, Ag, and Cu microwires, which serve as working electrodes. Pt wires serve as the counter electrodes. Two metal wires are encased in electrolyte between two poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) films (or polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) films) to render the device both flexible and highly transparent. The effect of the dye thickness on the photovoltaic performance of the DSSCs as a function of dye-loading time is investigated systematically. Shorter dye-loading times lead to thinner dye layers and better device performance. A dye-loading time of 20 min results in the best device performance. An oxidation treatment of the metal wires is developed effectively to avoid the galvanic-battery effect found in the experiment, which is crucial for real applications of double-metal-wire DSSC configurations. The device shows very good transparency and can increase sunlight use efficiency through two-sided illumination. The double-wire DSSCs remain stable for a long period of time and can be bent at large angles, up to 107°, reversibly, without any loss of performance. The double-wire-PET, planar solar-cell configuration can be used as window stickers and can be readily realized for large-area-weave roll-to-roll processing.

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