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The renaissance of dye-sensitized solar cells

Abstract

Several recent major advances in the design of dyes and electrolytes for dye-sensitized solar cells have led to record power-conversion efficiencies. Donor–pi–acceptor dyes absorb much more strongly than commonly employed ruthenium-based dyes, thereby allowing most of the visible spectrum to be absorbed in thinner films. Light-trapping strategies are also improving photon absorption in thin films. New cobalt-based redox couples are making it possible to obtain higher open-circuit voltages, leading to a new record power-conversion efficiency of 12.3%. Solid-state hole conductor materials also have the potential to increase open-circuit voltages and are making dye-sensitized solar cells more manufacturable. Engineering the interface between the titania and the hole transport material is being used to reduce recombination and thus attain higher photocurrents and open-circuit voltages. The combination of these strategies promises to provide much more efficient and stable solar cells, paving the way for large-scale commercialization.

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Figure 1: Dye-sensitized solar cell device schematic and operation.
Figure 2: Best-in-class dye-sensitized solar cells.
Figure 3: Maximum obtainable power-conversion efficiencies versus absorption onset for various loss-in-potentials.
Figure 4: DSC containing ERDs.

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Hardin, B., Snaith, H. & McGehee, M. The renaissance of dye-sensitized solar cells. Nature Photon 6, 162–169 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2012.22

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