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Hierarchically Structured ZnO Film for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells with Enhanced Energy Conversion Efficiency


  • Financial support by the UW-PNNL Joint Institute for Nanoscience (JIN), jointly funded by the University of Washington (UW) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL, operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy); the Intel Ph.D. Foundation; and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR-MURI, FA9550-06-1-032). Acknowledgement to Professor Samson Jenekhe and Dr. Abhishek Pradeep Kulkarni for the use of their lab and solar cell equipment.


A hierarchically-structured ZnO film consisting of secondary colloidal spheres of ~ 300 nm in diameter and primary nanoparticles of ~ 20 nm in diameter is shown to have an ~ 83% improvement in the overall light conversion efficiency, when compared to commercially-obtained ZnO film with ~ 25 nm particles. This increase is attributed to the hierarchical structure, where the secondary colloidal spheres promote light scattering for enhanced photon absorption.

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