Application of a novel microwave plasma treatment for the sintering of nickel oxide coatings for use in dye-sensitized solar cells

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Title: Application of a novel microwave plasma treatment for the sintering of nickel oxide coatings for use in dye-sensitized solar cells
Authors: Awais, Muhammad
Rahman, Mahfujur
MacElroy, J. M. Don
Dini, Danilo
Vos, Johannes G.
Dowling, Denis P.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2730
Date: 25-Jul-2011
Abstract: In this study the use of microwave plasma sintering of nickel oxide (NiOx) particles for use as p-type photoelectrode coatings in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is investigated. NiOx was chosen as the photocathode for this application due to its stability, wide band gap and p-type nature. For high light conversion efficiency DSSCs require a mesoporous structure exhibiting a high surface area. This can be achieved by sintering particles of NiOx onto a conductive substrate. In this study the use of both 2.45 GHz microwave plasma and conventional furnace sintering were compared for the sintering of the NiOx particles. Coatings 1 to 2.5 μm thick were obtained from the sintered particles (mean particle size of 50 nm) on 3 mm thick fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) coated glass substrates. Both the furnace and microwave plasma sintering treatments were carried out at ~ 450 °C over a 5 minute period. Dye sensitization was carried out using Erythrosin B and the UV-vis absorption spectra of the NiOx coatings were compared. A 44% increase in the level of dye adsorption was obtained for the microwave plasma sintered samples as compared to that obtained through furnace treatments. While the photovoltaic performance of the DSSC fabricated using the microwave plasma treated NiOx coatings exhibited a tenfold increase in the conversion efficiency in comparison to the furnace treated samples. This enhanced performance was associated with the difference in the mesoporous structure of the sintered NiOx coatings.
Funding Details: Science Foundation Ireland
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright (published version): 2011, Elsevier B.V.
Keywords: Dye-sensitized solar cells;Nickel oxide;Nanoparticles;Microwave plasma sintering;Dye sensitisation
Subject LCSH: Dye-sensitized solar cells
Nickel compounds
Nanoparticles
Microwave plasmas
Sintering
DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2011.01.020
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Mechanical & Materials Engineering Research Collection
Solar Energy Conversion (SEC) Cluster Research Collection
Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering Research Collection
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Research Collection

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