Characterization of titanium dioxide blocking layers in dye-sensitized nanocrystalline solar cells

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The properties of thin blocking layers of titanium dioxide used to improve the performance of dye-sensitized nanocrystalline solar cells have been studied. TiO2 blocking layers prepared on fluorine-doped tin oxide-coated glass by spray pyrolysis have been characterized by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, spectroscopic ellipsometry, and voltammetry. The impedance data reveal the presence of a distribution of surface states at the titanium dioxide-electrolyte interface that is similar to the one seen in the case of nanocrystalline TiO2 films. The influence of the blocking layers on the back transfer of electrons to tri-iodide ions in electrolyte-based dye-sensitized nanocrystalline cells has been studied by open circuit photovoltage decay. The results show that the ability of the blocking layer to prevent the back reaction of electrons with tri-iodide ions in the electrolyte is excellent under short circuit conditions, but is limited under open circuit conditions by electron accumulation at the surface of the titanium dioxide blocking layer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14394-14400
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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