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Efficient Performance of Electrostatic Spray-Deposited TiO2 Blocking Layers in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells after Swift Heavy Ion Beam Irradiation

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Author(s): Sudhagar P | Asokan K | Jung June | Lee Yong-Gun | Park Suil | Kang Yong

Journal: Nanoscale Research Letters
ISSN 1931-7573

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 30;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Titanium oxide | Interfaces | Impedance spectroscopy | Dye-sensitized solar cells | Ion beam irradiation

ABSTRACT
Abstract A compact TiO2 layer (~1.1 μm) prepared by electrostatic spray deposition (ESD) and swift heavy ion beam (SHI) irradiation using oxygen ions onto a fluorinated tin oxide (FTO) conducting substrate showed enhancement of photovoltaic performance in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The short circuit current density (Jsc = 12.2 mA cm-2) of DSSCs was found to increase significantly when an ESD technique was applied for fabrication of the TiO2 blocking layer, compared to a conventional spin-coated layer (Jsc = 8.9 mA cm-2). When SHI irradiation of oxygen ions of fluence 1 × 1013 ions/cm2 was carried out on the ESD TiO2, it was found that the energy conversion efficiency improved mainly due to the increase in open circuit voltage of DSSCs. This increased energy conversion efficiency seems to be associated with improved electronic energy transfer by increasing the densification of the blocking layer and improving the adhesion between the blocking layer and the FTO substrate. The adhesion results from instantaneous local melting of the TiO2 particles. An increase in the electron transport from the blocking layer may also retard the electron recombination process due to the oxidized species present in the electrolyte. These findings from novel treatments using ESD and SHI irradiation techniques may provide a new tool to improve the photovoltaic performance of DSSCs.
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