Quantum dot sensitized solar cells based on different counter electrodes

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Quantum dot sensitized solar cells based on different counter electrodes

 

Author: Chen, Xiaoting
Title: Quantum dot sensitized solar cells based on different counter electrodes
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2014
Subject: Quantum dots.
Solar cells
Electrodes.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Engineering
Pages: xvii, 104 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2748962
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7499
Abstract: Due to the energy crisis caused by the oil supply shortage, the renewable energy technology has raised increasing attentions. Among all the alternative energy including wind, nuclear, tidal and geothermal energy, solar energy has emerged as a potential and marketable competitor. As a type of third generation photovoltaic (PV) devices, quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs) are considered to have the greatest potential owing to their notable advantages, such as easy fabrication and low cost. For the major part of QDSSCs, the development of photo-anodes, electrolyte and counter electrodes (CEs) are also attracting more research efforts. In this dissertation, the quantum dot-sensitized solar cells were fabricated with cadmium sulfide (CdS) quantum dots as sensitizer, titanium dioxide (TiO₂) nanoparticles as the semiconductor layer and polysulfide solvent as the electrolyte. The technological process parameters were optimized respectively to improve the photovoltaic performances of CdS quantum dots sensitized solar cells. Apart from the optimization of photoanode and the electrolyte, different types of counter electrodes were also fabricated, which include the copper sulfide (CU2S), carbon (C), cobalt sulfide (CoS)/carbon and manganese sulfide (MnS) carbon CEs. In this research, MnS was first applied to the counter electrode for QDSSCs. We found this material had good catalytic activity toward sulfide / polysulfide redox couple. This novel counter electrode was prepared by successive ionic layer deposition reaction (SILAR) on active carbon/carbon black mixture. The active carbon/carbon black mixture film provides higher electronic conductivity, a large surface area for the loading of MnS nanoparticles, and also an ideal stability in polysulfide electrolyte. This composite CE possessed higher catalytic activity and better cell performance in the CdS QDSSC compared to both carbon and cobalt sulfide (CoS)/carbon CEs-based QDSSCs. Both the morphologies and photovoltaic performances of the CEs and assembled solar cells were studied.

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