Amphiphilic block-graft copolymers composed of poly(styrene-b-butadiene-b-styrene) (SBS) backbone and poly(oxyethylene methacrylate) (POEM) side chains are synthesized and combined with hydrophilically preformed TiO2 (Pre-TiO2), which works as a structural binder as well as titania source. This results in the formation of crack free, 6-μm-thick, organized mesoporous TiO2 (OM-TiO2) films via one-step doctor-blading based on self-assembly of SBS-g-POEM as well as preferential interaction of POEM chains with Pre-TiO2. SBS-g-POEM with different numbers of ethylene oxide repeating units, SBS-g-POEM(500) and SBS-g-POEM(950), are used to form OM-TiO2(500) and OM-TiO2(950), respectively. The efficiencies of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) with a quasi-solid-state polymer electrolyte reach 5.7% and 5.8% at 100 mW/cm2 for OM-TiO2(500) and OM-TiO2(950), respectively. The surface area of OM-TiO2(950) was greater than that of OM-TiO2(500) but the light reflectance was lower in the former, which is responsible for similar efficiency. Both DSSCs exhibit much higher efficiency than one (4.8%) with randomly-organized particulate TiO2 (Ran-TiO2), which is attributed to the higher dye loading, reduced charge recombination and improved pore infiltration of OM-TiO2. When utilizing poly((1-(4-ethenylphenyl)methyl)-3-butyl-imidazolium iodide) (PEBII) and mesoporous TiO2 spheres as the solid electrolyte and the scattering layer, the efficiency increases up to 7.5%, one of the highest values for N719-based solid-state DSSCs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Agency for Defense Development as a part of basic research program ( UD130049GD ), the Center for Advanced Meta-Materials (CAMM) ( 2014M3A6B3063716 ) and the Korea Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (KCAP) ( 2009-0093883 ).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering