Long-term thermal stability of liquid dye solar cells


Kontos AG, Stergiopoulos T, Likodimos V, Milliken D, Desilvesto H, Tulloch G, Falaras P. Long-term thermal stability of liquid dye solar cells. Journal of Physical Chemistry C [Internet]. 2013;117:8636-8646.


Laboratory-size dye solar cells (DSCs), based on industrially feasible materials and processes employing liquid electrolytes, have been developed. Cells based on two electrolyte solvents with different physical properties were subjected to thermal stress test at 80 C for 2000 h in the dark to monitor their long-term thermal stability. The DSCs incorporating a methoxypropionitrile (MPN)-based electrolyte presented a severe efficiency loss at 1 sun AM 1.5G of more than 70% upon thermal aging, while the solar cells using tetraglyme (TG) as a high boiling point solvent attained a promising stability with only 20% loss of performance. To better understand the above behavior, systematic experiments, including optical microscopy, linear sweep voltammetry, UV-vis absorption, electrochemical impedance, and Raman spectroscopies were conducted. Virtually no dye degradation/desorption, electrolyte decomposition, semiconductor passivation, or loss of cathode activity could be identified. For the MPN-based cells, a sharp decrease in the short-circuit photocurrent was observed at high illumination intensities following thermal stress, attributed to charge-transfer limitations due to severe triiodide loss, verified by different experimental techniques. These degradation effects were efficiently mitigated by replacing MPN with the high-boiling-point solvent in the electrolyte. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


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