Formulations and processing of nanocrystalline TiO2 films for the different requirements of plastic, metal and glass dye solar cell applications

V. Zardetto, G. Angelis, De, L. Vesce, V. Caratto, C. Mazzuca, J. Gasiorowski, A. Reale, A. Carlo, Di, T.M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We carried out a systematic study on the effect of nanocrystalline TiO2 paste formulations and temperature treatment on the performance of dye solar cells (DSCs) over a large temperature range, to provide useful information for the fabrication of both plastic and metal flexible devices. We compared conventional screen-printable and binder-free TiO2 pastes with a new formulation which includes hydroxylethyl cellulose (HEC), enabling the study of the effect of organic materials in the TiO2 layer in the whole 25–600¿° C temperature range. Differently from the binder-free formulations where the device efficiency rose monotonically with temperature, the use of cellulose binders led to remarkably different trends depending on their pyrolysis and decomposition thresholds and solubility, especially at those temperatures compatible with plastic foils. Above 325¿° C, where metal foil can be used as substrates, the efficiencies become similar to those of the binder-free paste due to effective binder decomposition and inter-nanoparticle bonding. Finally, we demonstrated, for the first time, that the simultaneous application of both temperature (110–150¿° C) and pressure (100 MPa) can lead to a large improvement (33%) compared to the same mechanical compression method carried out at room temperature only.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255401-
Number of pages10
JournalNanotechnology
Volume24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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