Photoelectrochemical quantification of electron transport resistance of TiO2 photoanodes for dye-sensitized solar cells
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A simple photoelectrochemical method is developed to measure the intrinsic electron transport resistance (R0) of TiO2 photoanodes. R0 is considered as the sum of electron transport resistance at the TiO2/FTO interface and among TiO2 nanoparticulates during electron transport process, which is independent of the manner of electron injection, its physical and chemical environments. Because TiO2 photoanodes are the common electron transport pathways for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) process and the photoelectrocatalytic oxidation process, R0 can be also considered as a quantitative measure of the electron transport resistance of the photoanodes in the DSSC process. The proposed method will provide a simple and rapid alternative to quantitatively evaluate the quality of the TiO2 photoanodes for DSSCs using R0 values. A series of TiO2/FTO photoanodes with different electron transport resistance were fabricated using conventional screen-printing technique, surface modifications using titanium organic sol and TiCl4 aqueous solution. R0 values of the photoanodes were characterized and subsequently used to correlate with the important performance parameters of the corresponding DSSCs. The preliminary results suggest that these surface modifications do not significantly affect the surface area, film thickness, dye loading and optical properties of the TiO2 film, but significantly decrease the R0 values. Furthermore, the DSSCs photoanodes with lower R0 values due to the organic sol or TiCl4 modification bestow better photovoltaic performance than the corresponding non-modified photoanodes. Therefore, it can be concluded that the performance improvements were mainly attributed to the decrease of the R0 values, which validates the proposed electrochemical evaluation method.
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
© 2010 Royal Society of Chemistry. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.
Solid State Chemistry
Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified