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All-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells with high efficiency


Dye-sensitized solar cells based on titanium dioxide (TiO2) are promising low-cost alternatives to conventional solid-state photovoltaic devices based on materials such as Si, CdTe and CuIn1−xGa x Se2 (refs 1, 2). Despite offering relatively high conversion efficiencies for solar energy, typical dye-sensitized solar cells suffer from durability problems that result from their use of organic liquid electrolytes containing the iodide/tri-iodide redox couple, which causes serious problems such as electrode corrosion and electrolyte leakage3. Replacements for iodine-based liquid electrolytes have been extensively studied, but the efficiencies of the resulting devices remain low3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Here we show that the solution-processable p-type direct bandgap semiconductor CsSnI3 can be used for hole conduction in lieu of a liquid electrolyte. The resulting solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells consist of CsSnI2.95F0.05 doped with SnF2, nanoporous TiO2 and the dye N719, and show conversion efficiencies of up to 10.2 per cent (8.51 per cent with a mask). With a bandgap of 1.3 electronvolts, CsSnI3 enhances visible light absorption on the red side of the spectrum to outperform the typical dye-sensitized solar cells in this spectral region.

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Figure 1: Crystal structure and optical and electrical transport properties of CsSnI3.
Figure 2: Energy levels of the components of the CsSnI 3 solid-state solar cell.
Figure 3: Cross-sectional electron microscopy image of a CsSnI 3 /TiO 2 cell on Si.
Figure 4: Optical response of the CsSnI 2.95 F 0.05 cell and a conventional Grätzel cell.
Figure 5: Photocurrent density–voltage ( J V ) characteristics of the solar cell devices under irradiation of 100 mW cm –2 simulated AM 1.5 sunlight.

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The authors acknowledge support for this collaborative research: NSF-DMR 0843962 for R.P.H.C.; DOE Energy Frontier Research Center, ANSER, DE-SC0001059 for B.H.L., J.H. and M.G.K.; the Initiative for Energy and Sustainability at Northwestern (ISEN) for I.C. Device testing and measurements were done in the ANSER Facilities and materials characterization was performed in the NSFMRSEC Facilities (DMR-1121262).

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I.C. and M.G.K. conceived and designed the experiments and prepared the manuscript. I.C. synthesized materials. R.P.H.C. and B.L. designed and fabricated the solar cells, I.C. and B.L. performed measurements. J.H. collected TEM data. I.C., B.L., R.P.H.C. and M.G.K. discussed the results and wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Mercouri G. Kanatzidis.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Chung, I., Lee, B., He, J. et al. All-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells with high efficiency. Nature 485, 486–489 (2012).

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