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Open AccessArticle

Trap State and Charge Recombination in Nanocrystalline Passivized Conductive and Photoelectrode Interface of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell

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Fundamental and Applied Science Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610 Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia
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Centre of Innovative Nanostructures and Nanodevices (COINN), Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610 Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia
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Electrical and Electronic Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610 Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2020, 10(3), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10030284
Received: 3 January 2020 / Revised: 27 January 2020 / Accepted: 29 January 2020 / Published: 19 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coatings for Solar Cell Applications)
The dynamic competition between electron generation and recombination was found to be a bottleneck restricting the development of high-performance dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Introducing a passivation layer on the surface of the TiO2 photoelectrode material plays a crucial role in separating the charge by preventing the recombination of photogenerated electrons with the oxidized species. This study aims to understand in detail the kinetics of the electron recombination process of a DSSC fabricated with a conductive substrate and photoelectrode film, both passivized with a layer of nanocrystalline TiO2. Interestingly, the coating, which acted as a passivation layer, suppressed the back-electron transfer and improved the overall performance of the integrated DSSC. The passivation layer reduced the exposed site of the fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO)–electrolyte interface, thereby reducing the dark current phenomenon. In addition, the presence of the passivation layer reduced the rate of electron recombination related to the surface state recombination, as well as the trapping/de-trapping phenomenon. The photovoltaic properties of the nanocrystalline-coated DSSC, such as short-circuit current, open-circuit voltage, and fill factor, showed significant improvement compared to the un-coated photoelectrode film. The overall performance efficiency improved by about 22% compared to the un-coated photoelectrode-based DSSC. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dye-sensitized solar cell; Electron recombination; passivation layer; nanocrystalline coating; electrochemical analysis Dye-sensitized solar cell; Electron recombination; passivation layer; nanocrystalline coating; electrochemical analysis
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Zaine, S.N.A.; Mohamed, N.M.; Khatani, M.; Samsudin, A.E.; Shahid, M.U. Trap State and Charge Recombination in Nanocrystalline Passivized Conductive and Photoelectrode Interface of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell. Coatings 2020, 10, 284.

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