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Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 130; doi:10.3390/nano7060130

Improving the Power Conversion Efficiency of Carbon Quantum Dot-Sensitized Solar Cells by Growing the Dots on a TiO2 Photoanode In Situ

1
State Key Laboratory of Solid Lubrication & Laboratory of Clean Energy Chemistry and Materials, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
Key Laboratory of Colloid and Interface Chemistry & Key Laboratory of Special Aggregated Materials, Shandong University, Ministry of Education, Jinan 250100, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hao-chung Kuo
Received: 1 April 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5293 KB, uploaded 31 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are highly promising since they can potentially solve global energy issues. The development of new photosensitizers is the key to fully realizing perspectives proposed to DSSCs. Being cheap and nontoxic, carbon quantum dots (CQDs) have emerged as attractive candidates for this purpose. However, current methodologies to build up CQD-sensitized solar cells (CQDSCs) result in an imperfect apparatus with extremely low power conversion efficiencies (PCEs). Herein, we present a simple strategy of growing carbon quantum dots (CQDs) onto TiO2 surfaces in situ. The CQDs/TiO2 hybridized photoanode was then used to construct solar cell with an improved PCE of 0.87%, which is higher than all of the reported CQDSCs adopting the simple post-adsorption method. This result indicates that an in situ growing strategy has great advantages in terms of optimizing the performance of CQDSCs. In addition, we have also found that the mechanisms dominating the performance of CQDSCs are different from those behind the solar cells using inorganic semiconductor quantum dots (ISQDs) as the photosensitizers, which re-confirms the conclusion that the characteristics of CQDs differ from those of ISQDs. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon quantum dot; solar cell; sensitized; hydrothermal; power conversion efficiency carbon quantum dot; solar cell; sensitized; hydrothermal; power conversion efficiency
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Zhang, Q.; Zhang, G.; Sun, X.; Yin, K.; Li, H. Improving the Power Conversion Efficiency of Carbon Quantum Dot-Sensitized Solar Cells by Growing the Dots on a TiO2 Photoanode In Situ. Nanomaterials 2017, 7, 130.

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