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Nat Mater. 2005 Jun;4(6):455-9. Epub 2005 May 15.

Nanowire dye-sensitized solar cells.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.

Abstract

Excitonic solar cells-including organic, hybrid organic-inorganic and dye-sensitized cells (DSCs)-are promising devices for inexpensive, large-scale solar energy conversion. The DSC is currently the most efficient and stable excitonic photocell. Central to this device is a thick nanoparticle film that provides a large surface area for the adsorption of light-harvesting molecules. However, nanoparticle DSCs rely on trap-limited diffusion for electron transport, a slow mechanism that can limit device efficiency, especially at longer wavelengths. Here we introduce a version of the dye-sensitized cell in which the traditional nanoparticle film is replaced by a dense array of oriented, crystalline ZnO nanowires. The nanowire anode is synthesized by mild aqueous chemistry and features a surface area up to one-fifth as large as a nanoparticle cell. The direct electrical pathways provided by the nanowires ensure the rapid collection of carriers generated throughout the device, and a full Sun efficiency of 1.5% is demonstrated, limited primarily by the surface area of the nanowire array.

PMID:
15895100
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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