Post-assembly atomic layer deposition of ultrathin metal-oxide coatings enhances the performance of an organic dye-sensitized solar cell by suppressing dye aggregation

Ho Jin Son*, Chul Hoon Kim, Dong Wook Kim, Nak Cheon Jeong, Chaiya Prasittichai, Langli Luo, Jinsong Wu, Omar K. Farha, Michael R. Wasielewski, Joseph T. Hupp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dye aggregation and concomitant reduction of dye excited-state lifetimes and electron-injection yields constitute a significant mechanism for diminution of light-to-electrical energy conversion efficiencies in many dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). For TiO2-based DSCs prepared with an archetypal donor-acceptor organic dye, (E)-2-cyano-3-(5′-(5′′-(p-(diphenylamino)phenyl)-thiophen-2′′-yl)thiophen-2′-yl)acrylic acid (OrgD), we find, in part via ultrafast spectroscopy measurements, that postdye-adsorption atomic layer deposition (ALD) of ultrathin layers of either TiO2 or Al2O3 effectively reverses residual aggregation. Notably, the ALD treatment is significantly more effective than the widely used aggregation-inhibiting coadsorbent, chenodeoxycholic acid. Primarily because of reversal of OrgD aggregation, and resulting improved injection yields, ALD post-treatment engenders a 30+% increase in overall energy conversion efficiency. A secondary contributor to increased currents and efficiencies is an ALD-induced attenuation of the rate of interception of injected electrons, resulting in slightly more efficient charge collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5150-5159
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume7
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 11 2015

Keywords

  • atomic layer deposition (ALD)
  • dye aggregation
  • dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs)
  • interfacial electron injection
  • post-treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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