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Efficient Plasmonic Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells with Fluorescent Au-Encapsulated C-Dots

Authors

  • Remya Narayanan,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Ordnance Factory Estate, Yedduaram-502205, Andhra Pradesh (India)
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  • Dr. Melepurath Deepa,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Ordnance Factory Estate, Yedduaram-502205, Andhra Pradesh (India)
    • Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Ordnance Factory Estate, Yedduaram-502205, Andhra Pradesh (India)

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  • Dr. Avanish Kumar Srivastava,

    1. CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, Dr. K.S. Krishnan road, New Delhi-110012 (India)
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  • Prof. Sonnada Math Shivaprasad

    1. Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit, International Centre for Materials Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur, Bangalore-560064 (India)
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Abstract

A simple strategy to improve the efficiency of a ZnO-nanorod-based dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) by use of Au-encapsulated carbon dots (Au@C-dots) in the photoanode is presented. The localized surface plasmonic resonance of Au in the 500–550 nm range coupled with the ability of C-dots to undergo charge separation increase the energy-harvesting efficiency of the DSSC with ZnO/N719/Au@C-dots photoanodes. Charge transfer from N719 dye to Au@C-dots is confirmed by fluorescence and lifetime enhancements of Au@C-dots. Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) from the gap states of ZnO nanorods to N719 dye is also ratified and the energy transfer rate is 4.4×108 s−1 and the Forster radius is 1.89 nm. The overall power conversion efficiency of the plasmonic and FRET-enabled DSSC with ZnO/N719/Au@C-dots as the photoanode, I2/I as the electrolyte and multiwalled carbon nanotubes as the counter electrode is 4.1 %, greater by 29 % compared to a traditional ZnO/N719 cell.

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