Morphological and Photoelectrochemical Characterization of Core-Shell Nanoparticle Films for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells: Zn-O Type Shell on SnO2 and TiO2 Cores

N. G. Park, M. G. Kang, K. M. Kim, K. S. Ryu, S. H. Chang, D. K. Kim, J. Van de Lagemaat, K. D. Benkstein, A. J. Frank

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Abstract

Core-shell type nanoparticles with SnO 2 and TiO 2 cores and zinc oxide shells were prepared and characterized by surface sensitive techniques. The influence of the structure of the ZnO shell and the morphology of nanoparticle films on the performance was evaluated. X-ray absorption near-edge structure and extended X-ray absorption fine structure studies show the presence of thin ZnO-like shells around the nanoparticles at low Zn levels. In the case of SnO 2 cores, ZnO nanocrystals are formed at high Zn/Sn ratios (ca. 0.5). Scanning electron microscopy studies show that Zn modification of SnO 2 nanoparticles changes the film morphology from a compact mesoporous structure to a less dense macroporous structure. In contrast, Zn modification of TiO 2 nanoparticles has no apparent influence on film morphology. For SnO 2 cores, adding ZnO improves the solar cell efficiency by increasing light scattering and dye uptake and decreasing recombination. In contrast, adding a ZnO shell to the TiO 2 core decreases the cell efficiency, largely owing to a loss of photocurrent resulting from slow electron transport associated with the buildup of the ZnO surface layer.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4246-4253
Number of pages8
JournalLangmuir
Volume20
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 May 2004

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-590-36464

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