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Investigation of the role of anions in hydrotalcite for quasi-solid state dye-sensitized solar cells application

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stevin PramanaORCiD


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In recent research in clean energy applications, clay has gained significant interest, especially as a gelator in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), for its capability to resolve the leakage issue of liquid electrolyte. In this paper, anionic hydrotalcite is utilized as a gelator to assist the formation of gel electrolyte in DSSCs. Three types of hydrotalcite with exchangeable anions, viz. NO3 - (CL-N), CO3 2- (CL-C) and SO4 2- (CL-S), were synthesized with similar morphologies via the co-precipitation method. It is observed that the gel formation of hydrotalcite strongly depends on the exchangeable anions present in the hydrotalcite. The objective of this work is to understand the effect of hydrotalcite anions on the photovoltage and the photocurrent in the gel electrolyte through electrochemical analysis. With increasing ion affinity, the Voc increases. This is attributed to Li+ intercalation with hydrotalcite compound resulting in the elevation of the conduction band of TiO2. With increasing ion affinity, the Jsc decreases. This is attributed to the decreasing diffusion coefficient of triiodide and the increasing difficulty in the injection process. For anions with low ion affinity in hydrotalcite, the diffusion of the redox couple is not significantly affected by the high viscosity of the gel. Furthermore, the study indicates that proper selection of hydrotalcite compounds not only produces a quasi-solid gel electrolyte, but also increases the efficiency of the solar cells: the device performance was improved from 7.8% (liquid electrolyte) to 8.4% (hydrotalcite gel electrolyte). © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2013.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang X, Deng R, Kulkarni SA, Wang X, Pramana SS, Wong CC, Gratzel M, Uchida S, Mhaisalkar SG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Materials Chemistry A

Year: 2013

Volume: 1

Issue: 13

Pages: 4345-4351

Print publication date: 07/04/2013

Online publication date: 24/01/2013

ISSN (print): 2050-7488

ISSN (electronic): 2050-7496

Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry


DOI: 10.1039/c3ta01581e


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