Photochemical Solar Cells Based on Dye-Sensitization of Nanocrystalline TiO2

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


A photoelectrochemical solar cell that is based on the dye-sensitization of thin nanocrystalline films of TiO2 (anatase) nanoparticles in contact with a non-aqueous liquid electrolyte is described. The cell, fabricated at NREL, shows a conversion efficiency of -9.2% at AM1.5, which approaches the best reported value of 10%-11% by Gratzel at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. The femtosecond (fs)pump-probe spectroscopy has been used to time resolve the injection of electrons into the conduction band of nanocrystalline TiO2 films under ambient conditions following photoexcitation of the adsorbed Ru(11)-complex dye. The measurement indicates an instrument-limited -50 fs upper limit on the electron injection time. We also report the sensitization of nanocrystalline TiO2 by a noveliron-based dye, CIS-[Fe 11 (2,2'-bipyridine-4,4'-dicarboxylic acid)2 (CN)2 ], a chromophore with an extremely short-lived, nonemissive excited state. The dye also exhibits a unique 'band selective' sensitization through one of its two absorption bands. The operational principle of the device has been studied through the measurement of electric field distribution within the device structure andstudies on the pH dependence of dye-redox potential. The incorporation of WO3 -based electrochromic layer into this device has led to a novel photoelectrochromic device structure for 'smart window' application.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 1998
Event2nd World Conference and Exhibition on Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conversion - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 6 Jul 199810 Jul 1998


Conference2nd World Conference and Exhibition on Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conversion
CityVienna, Austria

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-590-25056


  • dye-sensitization
  • non-aqueous liquid electrolyte
  • photoelectrochemical
  • solar cells
  • thin nanocrystalline films
  • TiO2 (anatase) nanoparticles


Dive into the research topics of 'Photochemical Solar Cells Based on Dye-Sensitization of Nanocrystalline TiO2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this