ZnO nanocones with high-index {101̅1} facets for enhanced energy conversion efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells

Chang, Jin, Ahmed, Rasin, Wang, Hongxia, Liu, Hongwei, Li, Renzhi, Wang, Peng, & Waclawik, Eric R. (2013) ZnO nanocones with high-index {101̅1} facets for enhanced energy conversion efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 117(27), pp. 13836-13844.

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ZnO is a promising photoanode material for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) due to its high bulk electron mobility and because different geometrical structures can easily be tailored. Although various strategies have been taken to improve ZnO-based DSC efficiencies, their performances are still far lower than TiO2 counterparts, mainly because low conductivity Zn2+–dye complexes form on the ZnO surfaces. Here, cone-shaped ZnO nanocrystals with exposed reactive O-terminated {101̅1} facets were synthesized and applied in DSC devices. The devices were compared with DSCs made from more commonly used rod-shaped ZnO nanocrystals where {101̅0} facets are predominantly exposed. When cone-shaped ZnO nanocrystals were used, DSCs sensitized with C218, N719, and D205 dyes universally displayed better power conversion efficiency, with the highest photoconversion efficiency of 4.36% observed with the C218 dye. First-principles calculations indicated that the enhanced DSCs performance with ZnO nanocone photoanodes could be attributed to the strength of binding between the dye molecules and reactive O-terminated {101̅1} ZnO facets and that more effective use of dye molecules occurred due to a significantly less dye aggregation on these ZnO surfaces compared to other ZnO facets.

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ID Code: 67710
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1021/jp402742n
ISSN: 1932-7455
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 American Chemical Society
Deposited On: 24 Feb 2014 23:10
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 12:21

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