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Title: Charge transport in disordered semiconductors in solid state sensitized solar cells : influence on performance and stability
Author: Leijtens, Tomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 9015
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis studies parameters influencing both the performance and stability of solid state sensitized solar cells (ssSSCs). ssSSCs benefit from their low materials and manufacturing processing costs, a consequence of using solution processed materials. However, solution processed materials are often structurally and electronically disordered. By characterizing fully operational ssSSCs and their charge transport properties, this thesis elucidates the factors limiting charge transport and proposes routes towards both improved photovoltaic conversion efficiency and long-term stability. Chapter 2 provides an explanation of the operation of ssSSCs, while Chapter 3 discusses the basic methods used in this thesis. Having set this background, Chapter 4 explores the interaction between atmospheric oxygen and charge doping mechanisms in the organic semiconductors used in ssSSCs. To understand the implications of the findings presented in Chapter 4, a new technique, “transient mobility spectroscopy”, was developed to understand the evolution of balanced charge transport behaviour of disordered semiconductors at different operating conditions in ssSSCs. This technique is presented in full in Chapter 5. The understanding gained in Chapters 4 and 5 suggest that alternative light absorbers with higher extinction coefficients may be beneficial to improving the performance of ssSSCs. Chapter 6 discusses the use of an organometal trihalide perovskite, as light absorber in ssSSCs. Using time resolved techniques, the charge transport and recombination mechanisms in various device architectures are explored, allowing suggestions to be made towards future improvements. Chapter 7 uses the technique presented in Chapter 5 to understand a rapid degradation mechanism of working ssSSCs. Particular focus is placed on the titanium dioxide charge-transporting layer. Building on this newfound understanding, two methods for attaining stable photovoltaic performance are provided, a great step forward for this technology.
Supervisor: Snaith, Henry J. Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Nanomaterials ; Semiconductor devices ; Condensed Matter Physics ; perovskite solar cells ; dye sensitized solar cells ; charge transport