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Open AccessArticle

Surface Carbon Shell-Functionalized ZrO2 as Nanofiller in Polymer Gel Electrolyte-Based Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Korea
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Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03722, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1418; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101418
Received: 17 September 2019 / Revised: 28 September 2019 / Accepted: 30 September 2019 / Published: 4 October 2019
We prepare dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) fabricated with a poly (ethylene glycol) based polymer gel electrolytes (PGEs) incorporating surface carbon shell-functionalized ZrO2 nanoparticles (ZrO2-C) as nanofillers (NFs). ZrO2 are polymerized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) using poly (ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (POEM) as a scaffold to prepare the ZrO2-C through carbonization. The power conversion efficiency of DSSC with 12 wt% ZrO2-C/PGEs is 5.6%, exceeding that with PGEs (4.4%). The enhanced efficiency is attributed to Lewis acid-base interactions of ZrO2-C and poly (ethylene glycol), catalytic effect of the carbon shells of ZrO2-C, which results in reduced crystallinity, enhanced ion conductivity of electrolytes, decreased counterelectrode/electrolyte interfacial resistance, and improved charge transfer rate. These results demonstrate that ZrO2-C introduction to PGEs effectively improves the performance of DSSCs. View Full-Text
Keywords: atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP); zirconium dioxide (ZrO2); carbon; polymer gel electrolyte (PGE); nanofiller (NF); dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP); zirconium dioxide (ZrO2); carbon; polymer gel electrolyte (PGE); nanofiller (NF); dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC)
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Lim, S.M.; Moon, J.; Choi, G.H.; Baek, U.C.; Lim, J.M.; Park, J.T.; Kim, J.H. Surface Carbon Shell-Functionalized ZrO2 as Nanofiller in Polymer Gel Electrolyte-Based Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1418.

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