Research Papers

A Light Harvesting Policy on Black Counter Electrode for Enhanced Performance of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Chi-Hui Chien

e-mail: chchien@faculty.nsysu.edu.tw

Ming-Lang Tsai

e-mail: d9038806@student.nsysu.edu.tw
Department of Mechanical
and Electro-Mechanical Engineering,
National Sun Yat-Sen University,
Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan

Chi-Chang Hsieh

e-mail: cchsieh@ccms.nkfust.edu.tw

Yan-Huei Li

e-mail: yanhuei.li@gmail.com
Department of the Mechanical
and Automation Engineering,
National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology,
Kaohsiung 811, Taiwan

Yuh J. Chao

e-mail: chao@sc.edu
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of South Carolina,
Columbia, SC 29208
College of Material Science and Engineering,
Tianjin University,
Tianjin 300072, China

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received May 25, 2013; final manuscript received November 13, 2013; published online December 19, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Santiago Silvestre.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 136(1), 011020 (Dec 19, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: SOL-13-1146; doi: 10.1115/1.4026099 History: Received May 25, 2013; Revised November 13, 2013

This work presents a novel light harvesting policy for a black counter electrode (BCE) to enhance the performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), which uses a metal-based light scattering layer (MLSL) that is formed from Al@SiO2 core-shell microflakes prepared and coated on BCE. DSSCs based on BCE with and without the MLSL are compared as well. Analysis results of electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) indicate that, while not affecting the charge transfer resistance at BCE, MLSL exhibits a low electron transport resistance in the TiO2/electrolyte interface. Our results further demonstrate that MLSL reflects light to the TiO2 electrode, subsequently increasing photocurrent density by 68.68% (from 2.65 to 4.47 mA/cm2) and improving the power conversion efficiency by 49.64%.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

FE-SEM images of BCE without MLSL (a) and with MLSL (b)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) FE-SEM image of Pt/graphite layer; (b) EDS spectrum of Pt/graphite layer; (c) FE-SEM image of Al@SiO2 core-shell microflakes; (d) EDS spectrum of Al@SiO2 core-shell microflakes

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

TEM images of Al microflake without SiO2 shell layer (a) and with SiO2 shell layer (b)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Diffused reflectance spectra of BCE with and without MLSL

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Photocurrent density-voltage curves for DSSCs based on BCE with MLSL of different thicknesses

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

EIS Nyquist plots for DSSCs based on BCE with MLSL of different thicknesses

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

EIS Bode phase plots for DSSCs based on BCE with MLSL of different thicknesses



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