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Title: Simulation, synthesis, sunlight : enhancing electronic transport in solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells
Author: Sivaram, Varun
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 7604
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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The solid-state dye sensitized solar cell (SDSC) is an emerging photovoltaic technology which promises inexpensive materials, roll-to-roll processing, and a stable architecture. In this thesis, I seek to enhance electronic transport in order to enable thicker devices and yield higher power conversion efficiencies. I adopt a multipronged approach to advance three aims, employing analytical, computational, and experimental methodologies. First, I generalize existing models of the dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) to allow simple parameter fitting of real devices and to account for previously ignored electronic processes. In Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 I present a nondimensional model capable of fitting real devices and simulating transient behavior without extensive material knowledge. Subsequently in Chapter 5, I introduce a novel three-dimensional model which incorporates electronic drift. Second, in Chapter 4 I critically assess a widespread method of measuring the charge collection efficiency, the summary metric that describes the efficacy of charge transport in the SDSC. I discover that the conventional method is inaccurate for values of the collection efficiency below 90% because of large experimental error and an intrinsic inaccuracy in applying a transient method to measure a steady-state parameter. Third, I aim to increase the rate of charge transport by employing new materials and nanostructures in the place of conventional nanocrystalline TiO2. In Chapter 5, I present evidence of faster transport and enhanced efficiency in flexible SnO2 nanowire SDSCs, ZnO nanowire SDSCs, and the first viable SnO2/P3HT SDSC, where photoanode and hole transporter have been replaced with higher mobility materials. Finally, in Chapter 6, I investigate use of TiO2 mesoporous single crystals (MSCs) with high surface area and extended crystallinity. After demonstrating the viability of MSCs in SDSCs, I examine enhanced transport caused by the background doping effect of thermal treatment. Together, the progress achieved toward diverse and ambitious goals advances the field and delineates routes to future progress for SDSC development.
Supervisor: Snaith, Henry Sponsor: Rhodes Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Condensed Matter Physics ; solar ; solar panels ; photovoltaic ; electronic transport ; transport ; dye-sensitized ; solar cells ; tio2 ; zno ; sno2 ; collection efficiency ; modeling ; nanowires ; mesoporous single crystals ; msc ; spiro ; solid-state ; transient perturbation ; mobility