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Next Generation of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A2: Solar Energy and Photovoltaic Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 19382

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, NIS Interdepartmental and INSTM Reference Centre, University of Torino, Via Giuria 7 and Via Quarello 15, 10100 Torino, Italy
Interests: synthesis and characterization of functional organic molecules and hybrid materials (organo-inorganic frameworks) for nonconventional and technological applications (nanotechnology, biotechnology, and photovoltaics)
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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, NIS Interdeparmental Centre, INSTM Reference Centre, University of Torino, Via Giuria 7 and Via Quarello 15, 10100 Torino, Italy
Interests: innovative materials for energy conversion devices and solid state lighting; novel dyes; electrolytes for dye-sensitized solar cells
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
CNRS Research Director, Laboratoire de Réactivité et Chimie des Solides, CNRS UMR7314, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, 80039 Amiens, France
Interests: perovskite solar cells and photocatalysis; photoelectrochemistry; electrochemistry; materials science; lithium-ion batteries; dye-sensitized solar cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Following the important impetus given to the perovskite solar cells (PSC), the common thinking was that the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) technology was soon coming to an end. However, noticeable advancements have also been realized in the field of DSSC in terms of materials development, power conversion efficiency, and stability, new concepts or, in a larger scale, module development. Based on these recent findings, it is very clear today that this technology has the potential to become one key player to convert very efficiently artificial low light power for indoor applications such as IoT and the possibility to have colorful or colorless semi-to-transparent cells for BIPV together with using new cost-effective and eco-friendly materials towards sustainable dye-sensitized solar cells.

In this Special Issue, we welcome any contribution (both research and review papers) covering these new aspects of DSSC so that readers can very precisely access the new achievements and new frontiers of this PV technology.

Prof. Dr. Nadia Barbero
Prof. Claudia Barolo
Dr. Frédéric Sauvage
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Dye-sensitized solar cells
  • Sustainable and new innovative materials
  • Electrolytes and new redox couples
  • New organic dyes
  • New semiconductor oxides
  • Innovative sealing technologies
  • Transparent solar cells
  • Tandem cells
  • p-type solar cells

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 26179 KiB  
Article
A Di-Carbazole-Based Dye as a Potential Sensitizer for Greenhouse-Integrated Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
by Dimitris A. Chalkias, Christos Charalampopoulos, Stefania Aivali, Aikaterini K. Andreopoulou, Aggeliki Karavioti and Elias Stathatos
Energies 2021, 14(4), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14041159 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3248
Abstract
For the first time in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) technology, a di-carbazole-based dye was synthesized and evaluated for its usage as a potential sensitizer for the development of wavelength selective semi-transparent DSSCs for greenhouses-oriented applications. The dye was designed to demonstrate a blue [...] Read more.
For the first time in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) technology, a di-carbazole-based dye was synthesized and evaluated for its usage as a potential sensitizer for the development of wavelength selective semi-transparent DSSCs for greenhouses-oriented applications. The dye was designed to demonstrate a blue light absorption, allowing a high transmittance in the red region of the visible light, even after its adsorption on the anode semiconductor, which is the most important one for the photosynthetic action of the plants. The application of the new dye to DSSCs was examined using either a high-performance iodide-based electrolyte or a highly transparent iodine-free electrolyte to determine a good balance between electric power generation and device transparency. The spectral engineered DSSCs demonstrated quite promising characteristics, providing a high external quantum efficiency (higher than 70%) in the whole blue–green region of the visible light, while allowing high transparency (up to 55%) in the red region, where the second peak in the absorbance spectrum of chlorophyll is located. Finally, the derived results were discussed under the consideration of important metrics for this niche application, including the transparency of the solar cells in the region of photosynthetic active radiation and the attained crop growth factor. The present work constitutes one of the few comprehensive studies carried out up to now in the direction of the development of 3rd generation “agrivoltaics” for their possible integration as cladding materials in energy-autonomous greenhouses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells)
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15 pages, 1123 KiB  
Article
Complexity of Electron Injection Dynamics and Light Soaking Effects in Efficient Dyes for Modern DSSC
by Adam Glinka, Jacek Kubicki and Marcin Ziółek
Energies 2021, 14(2), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020407 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1871
Abstract
Electron transfer dynamics in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) employing triphenylamine Y123 dye were investigated by means of femtosecond broadband transient absorption spectroscopy in the visible and mid-IR range of detection. The electron injection process to the titania conduction band was found to [...] Read more.
Electron transfer dynamics in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) employing triphenylamine Y123 dye were investigated by means of femtosecond broadband transient absorption spectroscopy in the visible and mid-IR range of detection. The electron injection process to the titania conduction band was found to appear biphasically with the time constant of the first component within 350 fs and that of the second component between 80 and 95 ps. Subsequently, the effects of continuous irradiation on the ultrafast and fast electron transfer processes were studied in the systems comprising Y123 dye or carbazole MK2 dye in combination with cobalt- or copper-based redox mediators: [Co(bpy)3](B(CN)4)2/3 (bpy = 2,2′-bipyridine) or [Cu(tmby)2](TFSI)1/2 (tmby = 4,4′,6,6′ tetramethyl-2,2′-bipyridine, TFSI = bis(trifluoromethane)sulfonamide). We have found that the steady-state illumination led to acceleration of the electron injection process due to the lowering of titania conduction band edge energy. Moreover, we have observed that the back electron transfer to the oxidized dye was suppressed. These changes in the initial (up to 3 ns) charge separation efficiency were directly correlated with the photocurrent enhancement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells)
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16 pages, 2997 KiB  
Article
Double Linker Triphenylamine Dyes for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
by Peter J. Holliman, Moneer Mohsen, Arthur Connell, Christopher P. Kershaw, Diana Meza-Rojas, Eurig W. Jones, Dawn Geatches, Kakali Sen and Ya-Wen Hsiao
Energies 2020, 13(18), 4637; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13184637 - 7 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2681
Abstract
Most organic dyes synthesized for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) use a single linker group to bind to the metal oxide photo-anode. Here we describe the synthesis and testing of two new triphenylamine dyes containing either two carboxylic acids 5-[2-(4-diphenylamino-phenyl)-vinyl]-isophthalic acid (10) [...] Read more.
Most organic dyes synthesized for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) use a single linker group to bind to the metal oxide photo-anode. Here we describe the synthesis and testing of two new triphenylamine dyes containing either two carboxylic acids 5-[2-(4-diphenylamino-phenyl)-vinyl]-isophthalic acid (10) or two cyanoacrylic acids (2Z, 2′Z)-3, 3′-(5-((E)-4-(diphenylamino) styryl)-1, 3-phenylene) bis (2-cyanoacrylic acid) (8) as linker groups. Full characterization data are reported for these dyes and their synthetic intermediates. DSC devices have been prepared from these new dyes either by passive or fast dyeing and the dyes have also been tested in co-sensitized DSC devices leading to a PCE (η = 5.4%) for the double cyanoacrylate linker dye (8) co-sensitized with D149. The dye:TiO2 surface interactions and dye excitations are interpreted using three modelling methods: density functional theory (at 0 K); molecular dynamics (at 298 K); time dependent density functional theory. The modelling results show the preferred orientation of both dyes on an anatase (1 0 1) TiO2 surface to be horizontal, and both the simulated and experimental absorption spectra of the dye molecules indicate a red shifted band for (8) compared to (10). This is in line with broader light harvesting and Jsc for (8) compared to (10). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells)
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12 pages, 1800 KiB  
Article
Ferrocene Derivatives Functionalized with Donor/Acceptor (Hetero)Aromatic Substituents: Tuning of Redox Properties
by Norberto Manfredi, Cristina Decavoli, Chiara L. Boldrini, Carmine Coluccini and Alessandro Abbotto
Energies 2020, 13(15), 3937; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13153937 - 1 Aug 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3943
Abstract
A series of functionalized ferrocene derivatives carrying electron-donor and electron-withdrawing (hetero)aromatic substituents has been designed as potential alternative electrolyte redox couples for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). The compounds have been synthesized and fully characterized in their optical and electrochemical properties. A general synthetic [...] Read more.
A series of functionalized ferrocene derivatives carrying electron-donor and electron-withdrawing (hetero)aromatic substituents has been designed as potential alternative electrolyte redox couples for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). The compounds have been synthesized and fully characterized in their optical and electrochemical properties. A general synthetic approach that implies the use of a microwave assisted Suzuki coupling has been developed to access a significative number of compounds. The presence of different electron-rich and electron-poor substituents provided fine tuning of optical properties and energy levels. HOMO and LUMO energy values showed that the substitution of one or two cyclopentadienyl rings of ferrocene can be successfully exploited to increase the maximum attainable voltage from a standard DSSC device using TiO2 as a semiconductor, opening the way to highly efficient, non-toxic, and cheap redox shuttles to be employed in solar energy technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells)
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Review

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48 pages, 14560 KiB  
Review
Application of Metal-Organic Frameworks and Covalent Organic Frameworks as (Photo)Active Material in Hybrid Photovoltaic Technologies
by Onur Yildirim, Matteo Bonomo, Nadia Barbero, Cesare Atzori, Bartolomeo Civalleri, Francesca Bonino, Guido Viscardi and Claudia Barolo
Energies 2020, 13(21), 5602; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13215602 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 6354
Abstract
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are two innovative classes of porous coordination polymers. MOFs are three-dimensional materials made up of secondary building blocks comprised of metal ions/clusters and organic ligands whereas COFs are 2D or 3D highly porous organic solids [...] Read more.
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are two innovative classes of porous coordination polymers. MOFs are three-dimensional materials made up of secondary building blocks comprised of metal ions/clusters and organic ligands whereas COFs are 2D or 3D highly porous organic solids made up by light elements (i.e., H, B, C, N, O). Both MOFs and COFs, being highly conjugated scaffolds, are very promising as photoactive materials for applications in photocatalysis and artificial photosynthesis because of their tunable electronic properties, high surface area, remarkable light and thermal stability, easy and relative low-cost synthesis, and structural versatility. These properties make them perfectly suitable for photovoltaic application: throughout this review, we summarize recent advances in the employment of both MOFs and COFs in emerging photovoltaics, namely dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) organic photovoltaic (OPV) and perovskite solar cells (PSCs). MOFs are successfully implemented in DSSCs as photoanodic material or solid-state sensitizers and in PSCs mainly as hole or electron transporting materials. An innovative paradigm, in which the porous conductive polymer acts as standing-alone sensitized photoanode, is exploited too. Conversely, COFs are mostly implemented as photoactive material or as hole transporting material in PSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Generation of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells)
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