A highly transparent interfacial layer (HTIL) to enhance the performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) was prepared via a polymer-assisted (PA) approach. Poly(vinyl chloride)-graft-poly(oxyethylene methacrylate) (PVC-g- POEM) was synthesized via atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and was used as a sacrificial template. The PVC-g-POEM graft copolymer induced partial coordination of a hydrophilic titanium isopropoxide (TTIP) sol-gel solution with the POEM domain, resulting in microphase separation, and in turn, the generation of mesopores upon calcination. These phenomena were confirmed using Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, UV-visible light transmittance spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. The DSSCs incorporating HTIL60/20 (consisting of a top layer with a pore size of 60 nm and a bottom layer with a pore size of 20 nm) exhibited the best overall conversion efficiency (6.36%) among the tested samples, which was 25.9% higher than that of a conventional blocking layer (BL). DSSC was further characterized using the Nyquist plot and incident-photon to electron conversion efficiency (IPCE) spectra.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)