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Keywords:

  • densities of states;
  • dye-sensitized solar cells;
  • photovoltaics;
  • thin films;
  • TiO2

Abstract

Limiting factors affecting photovoltaic performance of dye-sensitized solar cell employing low-temperature-processed TiO2 films were investigated. TiO2 films were prepared at a low temperature of 200 °C using the normal alcohol-containing binder-free TiO2 paste (LT200). Their photovoltaic performance was compared to a high-temperature (550 °C) annealed TiO2 film prepared using a polymer binder containing TiO2 paste (HT550). Compared to the proportional increase in conversion efficiency with TiO2 film thickness upto 14 μm for HT550, the increase in efficiency was terminated at relatively smaller thickness of about 8 μm for LT200 mainly due to unaugmented photocurrent. From the transient photocurrent–voltage studies, the electron transport rate was found to be almost identical, while charge recombination was one order of magnitude faster for LT200. Consequently, the electron diffusion length was more than 2–3 times shorter for LT200 than for HT550. Electron diffusion length and electron life time obtained from electrochemical impedance analysis were well consistent with those observed from transient measurement. Density of states (DOS) was evaluated to be shallow and narrow in LT200, which was responsible for limiting photovoltaic performance in the low-temperature processed TiO2 film.