Effect of electronic-insulating oxides overlayer on the performance of zinc oxide based dye sensitized solar cells
•ZnO nanoparticles were synthesized by microwave assisted route.•ZnO electrodes were prepared by doctor blade technique.•Ultrathin alumina and silica layers were coated on ZnO by liquid phase deposition.•Enhanced photovoltaic performance was observed for alumina coated ZnO DSSCs.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles were successfully synthesized by facile microwave assisted route and the prepared ZnO was coated on the indium tin oxide (ITO) substrate by doctor blade technique. An ultrathin alumina (Al2O3) and silica (SiO2) overlayer were coated on the ZnO electrodes by liquid phase deposition method. In the overlayer coating, ZnO electrodes were dipped into the respective overlayer precursor solutions at various time interval (30, 60, and 90 s) followed by sintering at 400 °C. These working electrodes were used to fabricate the dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) and their performances were analyzed. Low cost Rose Bengal (RB) dye was used as sensitizer for all the fabricated DSSCs. The role of dipping time on the performance of DSSCs was investigated. The results show that DSSCs with overlayer coated ZnO electrodes had higher power conversion efficiency (PCE) than those with bare ZnO electrode. Compared with bare ZnO electrodes, the increased dye loading and reduction of recombination contributed to the enhanced photovoltaic performance of overlayer coated ZnO electrodes.
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Journal: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry - Volume 305, 1 June 2015, Pages 37–44