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Title: Electron injection in dye sensitised solar cells
Author: Koops, Sara
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 1937
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2010
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In this thesis, the dynamics and quantum yields of electron injection occurring in liquid and solid state dye sensitised solar cells (DSSCs) based on titanium dioxide (TiO2) anodes sensitised with Ru – polypyridyl or organic dyes have been measured. The electron injection process is investigated through both experimental and modelling studies. A transient emission technique based on time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) has been developed to measure the kinetics and yields of injection occurring in both films and devices. Other processes occurring in the device are probed using a range of experimental techniques, including transient absorption spectroscopy and transient photovoltage. Initially the principles of the TCSPC measurement technique are introduced and the procedure for measuring the injection in samples is outlined. Comparison of appropriate control sample measurements, which show transient emission decay dynamics in the absence of electron injection, with the TiO2 sample traces enables the quantification of injection occurring in each experimental sample. TCSPC emission decays associated with each sample are then fitted using stretch exponential functions constrained by two degrees of freedom. This TCSPC technique for measuring electron injection dynamics is validated by showing agreement with previously published kinetics for an analogous system as measured by a well established ultrafast transient absorption technique. The fits to the TCSPC decay dynamics are also shown to be accurately replicated by Monte Carlo integrations based on a previously published model of the active dye / TiO2 interface in the DSSCs. The technique is extended to probing DSSCs employing a range of different sensitisers and measuring the kinetics under different operating conditions occurring within the DSSCs where injection is found to only depend strongly on the concentration of potential determining additives. The first results chapter describes the TCSPC technique and gives examples of the data analysis procedures associated with each transient emission decay measurement. The agreement between injection kinetics measured using TCSPC with those measured using ultrafast transient absorption technique is highlighted. The model of 5 the active dye / TiO2 DSSC interface is introduced and Monte Carlo integrations based on this physical model are shown to agree well with the experimental data. The second results chapter extends the measurement of injection kinetics to different Ru – polypyridyl based sensitisers. Injection kinetics are measured for a structure – function dye series and the observed variations in the kinetics and yields are explained with reference to the dye / TiO2 interface. The measurements are extended to completely solid state DSSCs and successful fitting of the TCSPC data with integrations based on the physical model show dispersive injection kinetics observed in solid state DSSCs are controlled by the same parameters as the liquid cells. The third chapter looks at a variety of factors which may affect injection in complete, operating DSSCs. The factors addressed include presence of the commonly used iodide / triiodide redox couple, residual effects of acid versus base film synthesis procedures, effect of increasing the Fermi level in the DSSC and changing the concentration of potential determining ions in the redox electrolyte. The major controlling factor is found to be the concentration of the potential determining, commonly used tert – butyl pyridine device additive and implications of this on DSSC performance are discussed. The last chapter compares device parameters for DSSCs based on successful organic sensitiser with DSSCs based on the commonly used Ru – polypyridyl N719. Features which control the performance of organic dyes in general are outlined and the reduced performance of DSSCs employing these dyes is explained.
Supervisor: Haque, Saif ; Durrant, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral