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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF, 2012045675), funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, and the Korea Research Council of Fundamental Science & Technology (KRCF) and KIST for ‘‘National Agenda Project (NAP)’’ program (S.Y.J.), the KIST Institutional Programs (2E23900 and 2K02120) (D.Y.K.), and the Global Frontier R&D Program on Center for Multiscale Energy System, funded by the National Research Foundation under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Korea (2013-8-2018) (D.K.). D.R.M. is grateful to the Australian Research Council for his Australian Laureate Fellowship and for funding from the Australian Centre of Excellence in Electromaterials Science.
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