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Interface Functionalization of Photoelectrodes with Graphene for High Performance Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Authors

  • Tao Chen,

    1. School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Center for Advanced Bionanosystems, Nanyang Technological University, 70 Nanyang Drive, 637457, Singapore
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Physics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, P. R. China
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  • Weihua Hu,

    1. School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Center for Advanced Bionanosystems, Nanyang Technological University, 70 Nanyang Drive, 637457, Singapore
    2. Institute for Clean Energy & Advanced Materials, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, P. R. China
    3. Chongqing Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Technologies of Clean Electrical Power Sources, Chongqing 400715, P. R. China
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  • Junling Song,

    1. School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Center for Advanced Bionanosystems, Nanyang Technological University, 70 Nanyang Drive, 637457, Singapore
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  • Guan Hong Guai,

    1. School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Center for Advanced Bionanosystems, Nanyang Technological University, 70 Nanyang Drive, 637457, Singapore
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  • Chang Ming Li

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Center for Advanced Bionanosystems, Nanyang Technological University, 70 Nanyang Drive, 637457, Singapore
    2. Institute for Clean Energy & Advanced Materials, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, P. R. China
    3. Chongqing Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Technologies of Clean Electrical Power Sources, Chongqing 400715, P. R. China
    • School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Center for Advanced Bionanosystems, Nanyang Technological University, 70 Nanyang Drive, 637457, Singapore.
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Abstract

The microstructures of photo- and counter-electrodes play critical roles in the performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). In particular, various interfaces, such as fluorinated-tin oxide (FTO)/TiO2, TiO2/TiO2, and TiO2/electrolyte, in DSSCs significantly affect the final power conversion efficiency (PCE). However, research has generally focused more on the design of various nanostructured semiconducting materials with emphasis on optimizing chemical or/and physical properties, and less on these interface functionalizations for performance improvement. This work explores a new application of graphene to modify the interface of FTO/TiO2 to suppress charge recombination. In combination with interfaces functionalization of TiO2/TiO2 for low charge-transport resistance and high charge-transfer rate, the final PCE of DSSC is remarkably improved from 5.80% to 8.13%, achieving the highest efficiency in comparison to reported graphene/TiO2-based DSSCs. The method of using graphene to functionalize the surface of FTO substrate provides a better alternative method to the conventional pre-treatment through hydrolyzing TiCl4 and an approach to reduce the adverse effect of microstructural defect of conducting glass substrate for electronic devices.

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