Iodide ion conducting electrolytes are intensively studied as effectual electrolytes for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). However, the nature and concentration of the counter-ion (cation) in the electrolyte exert a profound influence on the performance of the thin film meso-porous TiO2 based DSSCs. A series of gel electrolytes containing the alkaline iodides LiI, NaI, KI, RbI and CsI and polyacrylonitrile (PAN) were fabricated together with the non-volatile plasticizers ethylene carbonate (EC) and propylene carbonate (PC). A similar series was fabricated with the inclusions of performance enhancers (additives) tetrapropylammonium iodide (Pr4NI), the ionic liquid 1-methyl-3-propyl imidazolium iodide (MPII) and 4-tert-butylpyridine (4TBP). The ionic conductivity of the electrolytes was studied in order to investigate its dependence on the nature of the alkaline cation in presence or absence of additives. The conductivities were higher for the electrolytes with the larger cations, namely K+, Rb+ and Cs+. A significant conductivity enhancement was observed in presence of the additives, and this effect was especially noticeable for samples with the smaller cations. The highest conductivity for electrolytes with additives, 3.96 mS cm(-1) at 25 degrees C, is exhibited by KI containing samples. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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