Enhanced performance of a quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell with aluminum nitride in its gel polymer electrolyte

Kuan-Chieh Huang, Po-Yen Chen, R. Vittal, Kuo-Chuan Ho

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29 Scopus citations


The effects of incorporation of aluminum nitride (AlN) in the gel polymer electrolyte (GPE) of a quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) were studied in terms of performance of the cell. The electrolyte, consisting of lithium iodide (LiI), iodine (I2), and 4-tert-butylpyridine (TBP) in 3-methoxypropionitrile (MPN), was solidified with poly(vinyidene fluoride-co-hexafluoro propylene) (PVDF-HFP). The 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5 wt% of AlN were added to the electrolyte for this study. XRD analysis showed a reduction of crystallinity in the polymer PVDF-HFP for all the additions of AlN. The DSSC fabricated with a GPE containing 0.1 wt% AlN showed a short-circuit current density (JSC) and power-conversion efficiency (η) of 12.92±0.54 mA/cm2 and 5.27±0.23%, respectively, at 100 mW/cm2 illumination, in contrast to the corresponding values of 11.52±0.21 mA/cm2 and 4.75±0.08% for a cell without AlN. The increases both in JSC and in η of the promoted DSSC are attributed to the higher apparent diffusion coefficient of I- in its electrolyte (3.52×10-6 cm2/s), compared to that in the electrolyte without AlN of a DSSC (2.97×10-6 cm 2/s). At-rest stability of the quasi-solid-state DSSC with 0.1 wt% of AlN was found to decrease hardly by 5% and 7% at room temperature and at 40 °C, respectively, after 1000 h duration. The DSSC with a liquid electrolyte showed a decrease of about 40% at room temperature, while it virtually lost its performance in about 150 h at 40 °C. Explanations are further substantiated by means of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and by porosity measurements. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1990-1995
Number of pages6
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


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