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  • Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC) Materials

  • Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC) Materials

    Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is a device that converts solar energy into electric energy. Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) can make full use of renewable new energy sources, having a broad application prospect. First, under the irradiation of light, the dye molecules are excited and turn into the excited state. Second, the excited state dye molecules rapidly injected electrons into the nano TiO2 conducting band. Then, the excited dye molecules are reduced by electrolyte. Finally, taking electrons from the external circuit, the electrolyte in turn can be reduced.

    Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC) MaterialsFigure 1. The diagram of DSSC operating principle.


    • Construction field: Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) products are flexible and have good transmittance property. Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) materials can match different pigments to present different color appearance. Therefore, it is suitable for the modern glass curtain building that needs a lot of power load of air conditioning and lighting. Meanwhile, it can be used as shading, insulation and power generation to achieve the double energy efficiency of building energy saving and renewable electricity.

    Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC) MaterialsFigure 2. Dye-sensitized solar cell applied in modern glass curtain building.

    • 3C products fields: With the advantages of regeneration and environmental friendliness, dye-sensitized solar cell materials can be manufactured into charger, which can be used in smart phones, Mp3 and other small portable devices.


    There are many kinds of materials that make up dye-sensitized solar cell, the most important components are listed as below.

    • Nanocrystalline semiconductor thin film electrode: Nanocrystalline semiconductor thin film electrodes are the forefront and important foundation of the dye-sensitized solar cell, which mainly include TiO2, ZnO, SnO2, Nb2O5 and SrTiO3. Among them, TiO2 is a kind of cheap, non-toxic, stable semiconductor material with good photo-corrosion resistance.
    • Electrolyte: The performance of electrolyte is related to the efficiency and stability of DSSC devices. According to the state, electrolytes can be divided into three kinds.
    • 1. Liquid electrolytes: Liquid electrolytes mainly include I-/I3-, Br/Br2, SCN-/(SCN)2 and binary ionic liquid systems of PMII and EMIDCA.

      2. Quasi solid electrolytes:Quasi solid electrolytes mainly include small molecule gel electrolyte and polymer gel electrolyte.

      3. Solid electrolytes: The most widely studied solid electrolytes are organic hole transporting materials and inorganic P-type semiconductor materials. Solid electrolytes can solve the problem of electrolyte volatilization, but the poor contact with nano-semiconductor electrode affects the charge transmission.

    • Dye photosensitizer: Dye photosensitizer is the core component of DSSC device and plays an important role in the photovoltaic performance of the DSSC cell.
    • 1. Metal complex photosensitizer: The most frequently used metal complexes are ruthenium polypyridine complexes. In addition, porphyrin dyes are also a group of metal complex photosensitive agents mainly including porphyrin dyes with Zn coordination and Cu coordination.

      Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC) MaterialsFigure 3. Examples of metal complex photosensitizer.

      2. Pure organic photosensitizer: Pure organic photosensitizer has become a hotspot in the field of photosensitizer due to its advantages of easy modification and high molar absorption coefficient. These dyes mostly belong to the structure of donor-π-acceptor, and the most studied dyes include coumarins, indoles and carbazoles.

      Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC) MaterialsFigure 4. An example of pure organic photosensitizer.


    1. Yella A, Lee H W, Tsao H N, et al. Porphyrin-Sensitized Solar Cells with Cobalt (II/III)-Based Redox Electrolyte Exceed 12 Percent Efficiency[J]. science, 2011, 334(6056):629-634.
    2. Zeng W D, Cao Y M, Bai Y, et al. Efficient Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells with an Organic Photosensitizer Featuring Orderly Conjugated Ethylenedioxythiophene and Dithienosilole Blocks[J]. chemistry of materials, 2010, 22(5):1915-1925.

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