• doping;
  • dyes;
  • nanoparticles;
  • photovoltaics;
  • semiconductors


ZnO nanoparticles are doped with K and applied in p-type dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). The microstructure and dynamics of hole transportation and recombination are investigated. The morphology of the K-doped ZnO nanoparticles shows a homogeneous distribution with sizes in the range 30–40 nm. When applied in p-type DSCs in combination with C343 as sensitizer, the K-doped ZnO nanoparticles achieve a photovoltaic power conversion efficiency of 0.012 % at full-intensity sunlight. A further study on the device by transient photovoltage/photocurrent decay measurements shows that the K-doped ZnO nanoparticles have an appreciable hole diffusion coefficient (ca. 10−6 cm2 s−1). Compared to the widely used p-type NiO nanoparticles, this advantage is crucial for further improving the efficiency of p-type DSCs.