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Solid-state dye-sensitized and bulk heterojunction solar cells using TiO2 and ZnO nanostructures: recent progress and new concepts at the borderline

Authors

  • Johann Bouclé,

    Corresponding author
    1. XLIM UMR 6172, Université de Limoges/CNRS, 123 avenue Albert Thomas, 87060 Limoges Cedex, France
    • XLIM UMR 6172, Université de Limoges/CNRS, 123 avenue Albert Thomas, 87060 Limoges Cedex, France and Jörg Ackermann, Centre Interdisciplinaire de Nanosciences de Marseille (CINAM), UPR CNRS 3118, Campus de Luminy, Case 913, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France.
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  • Jörg Ackermann

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre Interdisciplinaire de Nanosciences de Marseille (CINAM), UPR CNRS 3118, Campus de Luminy, Case 913, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France
    • XLIM UMR 6172, Université de Limoges/CNRS, 123 avenue Albert Thomas, 87060 Limoges Cedex, France and Jörg Ackermann, Centre Interdisciplinaire de Nanosciences de Marseille (CINAM), UPR CNRS 3118, Campus de Luminy, Case 913, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France.
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Abstract

In the field of photovoltaic energy conversion, hybrid inorganic/organic devices represent promising alternatives to standard photovoltaic systems in terms of exploiting the specific features of both organic semiconductors and inorganic nanomaterials. Two main categories of hybrid solar cells coexist today, both of which make much use of metal oxide nanostructures based on titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) as electron transporters. These metal oxides are cheap to synthesise, are non-toxic, are biocompatible and have suitable charge transport properties, all these features being necessary to demonstrate highly efficient solar cells at low cost. Historically, the first hybrid approach developed was the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) concept based on a nanostructured porous metal oxide electrode sensitized by a molecular dye. In particular, solid-state hybrid DSSCs, which reduce the complexity of cell assembly, demonstrate very promising performance today. The second hybrid approach exploits the bulk heterojunction (BHJ) concept, where conjugated polymer/metal oxide interfaces are used to generate photocurrent. In this context, we review the recent progress and new concepts in the field of hybrid solid-state DSSC and BHJ solar cells based on TiO2 and ZnO nanostructures, incorporating dyes and conjugated polymers. We point out the specificities in common hybrid device structures and give an overview on new concepts, which couple and exploit the main advantages of both DSSC and BHJ approaches. In particular, we show that there is a trend of convergence between both DSSC and BHJ approaches into mixed concepts at the borderline which may allow in the near future the development of hybrid devices for competitive photovoltaic energy conversion. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry

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