We have developed highly efficient, ambient temperature, solid-state ionic conductors (SSICs) for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) by doping a molecular plastic crystal, succinonitrile (SN), with trialkyl-substituted imidazolium iodide salts. High performance SSICs with enhanced ionic conductivity (2-4mScm-1) were obtained. High performance solid-state DSSCs with power conversion efficiency of 7.8% were fabricated using our SSICs combined with unique hierarchically nanostructured TiO 2 sphere (TiO2-SP) photoelectrodes; these electrodes have significant macroporosity, which assists penetration of the solid electrolyte into the electrode. The performance of our solid-state DSSCs is, to the best of our knowledge, the highest reported thus far for cells using plastic crystal-based SSICs, and is comparable to that of the state-of-the-art DSSCs which use ionic liquid type electrolytes. This report provides a logical strategy for the development of efficient plastic crystal-based SSICs for DSSCs and other electrochemical devices.
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