The synthesis of organized mesoporous SnO2 films with high porosity, larger pores, and good interconnectivity, obtained by sol-gel templating with an amphiphilic graft copolymer, poly(vinyl chloride)-graft-poly(oxyethylene methacrylate), is reported. An improved performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is demonstrated by the introduction of a 400 nm thick organized mesoporous SnO2 interfacial (om-SnO2 IF) layer between nanocrystalline TiO2 (nc-TiO2) and a fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate. To elucidate the improved efficiency, the structural, optical, and electrochemical properties of the devices were characterized by SEM, UV/Vis spectroscopy, noncontact 3D surface profilometry, intensity-modulated photocurrent/voltage spectroscopy, incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiency, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements. The energy-conversion efficiency of the solid polymerized ionic liquid based DSSC fabricated with the om-SnO2 IF/nc-TiO2 photoanode reached 5.9 % at 100 mW cm-2; this is higher than those of neat nc-TiO2 (3.5 %) and organized mesoporous TiO2 interfacial/nc-TiO2 layer (5.4 %) photoanodes. The improved efficiency is attributed to the antireflective property, cascadal energy band gap, good interconnectivity, and high electrical conductivity of the om-SnO2 IF layer, which results in enhanced light harvesting, increased electron transport, reduced charge recombination, and decreased interfacial/internal resistance. Peeling back the layers: An organized mesoporous SnO2 (om-SnO2) film is prepared using a graft copolymer as a template for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The improved efficiency is attributed to the antireflective property, cascadal energy band gap, good interconnectivity, and high electrical conductivity of the film.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Materials Science(all)