Polymer gel electrolytes (PGEs) of cobalt redox system are prepared for dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) applications. Poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP) is used as a gelator of an acetonitrile (ACN) liquid electrolyte containing tris(2,2′-bipyridine)cobalt(II/III) redox couple. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) and titanium carbide (TiC) nanoparticles are utilized as nanofillers (NFs) of this PGE, and the effects of the two NFs on the conductivity of the PGEs, charge-transfer resistances at the electrode/PGE interface, and the performance of the gel-state DSSCs are studied and compared. The results show that the presence of TiC NFs significantly increases the conductivity of the PGE and decreases the charge-transfer resistance at the Pt counter-electrode (CE)/PGE interface. Therefore, the gel-state DSSC utilizing TiC NFs can achieve a conversion efficiency (6.29%) comparable to its liquid counterpart (6.30%), and, furthermore, the cell efficiency can retain 94% of its initial value after a 1000 h stability test at 50 °C. On the contrary, introduction of TiO2 NFs in the PGE causes a decrease of cell performances. It shows that the presence of TiO2 NFs increases the charge-transfer resistance at the Pt CE/PGE interface, induces the charge recombination at the photoanode/PGE interface, and, furthermore, causes a dye desorption in a long-term-stability test. These results are different from those reported for the iodide redox system and are ascribed to a specific attractive interaction between TiO2 and cobalt redox ions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)