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Pulsed Laser Fabrication of TiO2 Buffer Layers for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Department of Physics, Ovidius University of Constanța, Constanța 900527, Romania
National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics, P.O. Box MG-36, Măgurele 077125, Romania
National Institute of Materials Physics, P.O. Box MG-7, Măgurele 077125, Romania
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 746;
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Modification of Nanostructured Thin Films)
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We report on the fabrication of dye-sensitized solar cells with a TiO2 buffer layer between the transparent conductive oxide substrate and the mesoporous TiO2 film, in order to improve the photovoltaic conversion efficiency of the device. The buffer layer was fabricated by pulsed laser deposition whereas the mesoporous film by the doctor blade method, using TiO2 paste obtained by the sol–gel technique. The buffer layer was deposited in either oxygen (10 Pa and 50 Pa) or argon (10 Pa and 50 Pa) onto transparent conducting oxide glass kept at room temperature. The cross-section scanning electron microscopy image showed differences in layer morphology and thickness, depending on the deposition conditions. Transmission electron microscopy studies of the TiO2 buffer layers indicated that films consisted of grains with typical diameters of 10 nm to 30 nm. We found that the photovoltaic conversion efficiencies, determined under standard air mass 1.5 global (AM 1.5G) conditions, of the solar cells with a buffer layer are more than two times larger than those of the standard cells. The best performance was reached for buffer layers deposited at 10 Pa O2. We discuss the processes that take place in the device and emphasize the role of the brush-like buffer layer in the performance increase. View Full-Text
Keywords: dye-sensitized solar cells; photovoltaic conversion efficiency; TiO2 thin films; pulsed laser deposition dye-sensitized solar cells; photovoltaic conversion efficiency; TiO2 thin films; pulsed laser deposition

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lungu, J.; Socol, G.; Stan, G.E.; Ştefan, N.; Luculescu, C.; Georgescu, A.; Popescu-Pelin, G.; Prodan, G.; Gîrţu, M.A.; Mihăilescu, I.N. Pulsed Laser Fabrication of TiO2 Buffer Layers for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 746.

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