Hybrid electrolytes prepared from ionic liquid-grafted alumina for high-efficiency quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells

Won Seok Chi, Dong Kyu Roh, Sang Jin Kim, Sung Yeon Heo, Jong Hak Kim

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Alumina (Al2O3) nanoparticles were covalently surface-modified with an ionic liquid (IL) to improve their miscibility with ILs such as 1-methyl-3-propylimidazolium iodide (MPII). Hybrids consisting of MPII and the surface-modified IL-Al2O3 nanoparticles were utilized as an I2-free electrolyte for quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The synthesis and properties of the IL-Al2O3 nanoparticles and hybrid electrolytes were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, UV-visible spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The viscosity of the electrolyte continuously increased with the content of IL-Al2O 3, and the fluidity almost disappeared completely when the MPII:IL-Al2O3 weight ratio was 95:5 or 90:10. The energy conversion efficiencies of DSSCs fabricated with IL-Al2O3 were always greater than those with pristine Al2O3. Such a finding is due to the favorable interactions and good miscibility between MPII and IL-Al2O3, which in turn results in the formation of an interconnected channel pathway for ion transport. Incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiency (IPCE), intensity modulated photocurrent spectroscopy (IMPS)/intensity-modulated photovoltage spectroscopy (IMVS), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements were used to investigate the interfacial properties and electron transport characteristics. Upon utilizing double-layer structures with mesoporous TiO2 beads, the efficiency increased to 7.6% at 100 mW cm-2, one of the highest values reported for quasi-solid-state DSSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5341-5348
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun 21


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)

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