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Fully Plastic Dye Solar Cell Devices by Low-Temperature UV-Irradiation of both the Mesoporous TiO2 Photo- and Platinized Counter-Electrodes

Authors

  • Valerio Zardetto,

    1. C.H.O.S.E. (Centre for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy), Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Rome - Tor Vergata, via del Politecnico 1, 00133, Rome, Italy
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  • Francesco Di Giacomo,

    1. C.H.O.S.E. (Centre for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy), Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Rome - Tor Vergata, via del Politecnico 1, 00133, Rome, Italy
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  • Diana Garcia-Alonso,

    1. Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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  • Wytze Keuning,

    1. Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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  • Mariadriana Creatore,

    1. Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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  • Claudia Mazzuca,

    1. Department of Chemical Science and Technologies, University of Rome - Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 00133, Rome, Italy
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  • Andrea Reale,

    1. C.H.O.S.E. (Centre for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy), Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Rome - Tor Vergata, via del Politecnico 1, 00133, Rome, Italy
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  • Aldo Di Carlo,

    1. C.H.O.S.E. (Centre for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy), Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Rome - Tor Vergata, via del Politecnico 1, 00133, Rome, Italy
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  • Thomas M. Brown

    Corresponding author
    1. C.H.O.S.E. (Centre for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy), Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Rome - Tor Vergata, via del Politecnico 1, 00133, Rome, Italy
    • C.H.O.S.E. (Centre for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy), Department of Electronic Engineering, University of Rome - Tor Vergata, via del Politecnico 1, 00133, Rome, Italy.

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Abstract

The application of UV irradiation processes are successfully proposed for the first time in the fabrication of both of the two plastic electrodes in flexible dye solar cells (DSCs) and modules. For the realization of the photo-electrode, a customized TiO2 paste formulation and UV processing method was developed which yields 134% (48%) performance enhancement with respect to the same (binder-free) paste treated at 120 °C. UV treatment induces both complete removal of organic media and more efficient charge collection. Significantly, highly catalytic platinized flexible counter-electrodes are also obtained via UV photo-induced reduction of screen-printed platinum precursor pastes based on hexachloroplatinic acid. Using both UV-processed electrodes, a fully plastic DSC is fabricated with a conversion efficiency of 4.3% under 1 Sun (semitransparent) and 5.3% under 0.2 Sun (opaque). Performance is within 10% of the efficiency of a glass-based DSC prepared with the same materials but with conventional high temperature processes. The material formulations and processes are simple, and easily up-scaled over large areas, even directly and simultaneously applicable to the preparation of both the photo-and counter-electrode on the same substrate which enabled us to demonstrate the first module on plastic realized with a W series interconnection.

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