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  • Factors Affecting the Performance of Champion Silyl-Anchor Carbazole Dye Revealed in the Femtosecond to Second Studies of Complete ADEKA-1 Sensitized Solar Cells

    Sobus, Jan   Gierczyk, Blazej   Burdzinski, Gotard   Jancelewicz, Mariusz   Polanski, Enrico   Hagfeldt, Anders   Ziolek, Marcin  

    Record laboratory efficiencies of dye-sensitized solar cells have been recently reported using an alkoxysilyl-anchor dye, ADEKA-1 (over 14%). In this work we use time-resolved techniques to study the impact of key preparation factors (dye synthesis route, addition of co-adsorbent, use of cobalt-based electrolytes of different redox potential, creation of insulating Al2O3 layers and molecule capping passivation of the electrode) on the partial charge separation efficiencies in ADEKA-1 solar cells. We have observed that unwanted fast recombination of electrons from titania to the dye, probably associated with the orientation of the dyes on the titania surface, plays a crucial role in the performance of the cells. This recombination, taking place on the sub-ns and ns time scales, is suppressed in the optimized dye synthesis methods and upon addition of the co-adsorbent. Capping treatment significantly reduces the charge recombination between titania and electrolyte, improving the electron lifetime from tens of ms to hundreds of ms, or even to single seconds. Similar increase in electron lifetime is observed for homogenous Al2O3 over-layers on titania nanoparticles, however, in this case the total solar cells photocurrent is decreased due to smaller electron injection yield from the dye. Our studies should be important for a broader use of very promising silyl-anchor dyes and the further optimization and development of dye-sensitized solar cells.
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