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Nano Lett. 2010 Jun 9;10(6):2092-6. doi: 10.1021/nl1005433.

Planar waveguide-nanowire integrated three-dimensional dye-sensitized solar cells.

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  • 1School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0245, USA.


We present a new approach to fabricate three-dimensional (3D) dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) by integrating planar optical waveguide and nanowires (NWs). The ZnO NWs are grown normally to the quartz slide. The 3D cell is constructed by alternatively stacking a slide and a planar electrode. The slide serves as a planar waveguide for light propagation. The 3D structure effectively increases the light absorbing surface area due to internal multiple reflections without increasing electron path length to the collecting electrode, resulting in a significant improvement in energy conversion efficiency by a factor of 5.8 on average compared to the planar illumination case. Our approach demonstrates a new methodology for building large scale and high-efficient 3D solar cells that can be expanded to organic- and inorganic-based solar cells.

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