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The Science Behind Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

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Brian Hardin of Stanford explains dye-sensitized solar cells.

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The Science Behind Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

  1. 1. The Dye Sensitized Solar Cell Behind the Scenes of “Sunny Memories” swissnex San Francisco 21 April 2010 Brian E. Hardin Stanford University Filling in for: Kevin Sivula Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Email: bhardin@stanford.edu
  2. 2. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) <ul><li>EPFL is one of the premier Science and Engineering Universities in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>6,000 Students </li></ul><ul><li>Over 100 Nationalities with 50% of the teachers coming form outside of Switzerland. </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Grätzel is the most highly cited solar scientist in the world. </li></ul>Gr ätzel lab is a five minute walk from Lac Léman and beach volleyball courts.
  3. 3. Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells are Photovoltaic Devices On a sunny day, the power from the sun (P sun ) is one kilowatt per meter squared (1 kW/m 2 ). Power from Solar Cell: Power Conversion Efficiency:
  4. 4. A new in paradigm in solar energy conversion
  5. 5. Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Components Chemical Structure of N3 Dye Sensitizing Dye Titania Nanoparticles 20 nm Titania nanoparticles Electrolyte Iodide/Tri-iodide Redox Couple
  6. 6. Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Schematic
  7. 7. TiO 2 Dye Electrolyte Cathode Wide band-gap semiconductor Current Generation in DSCs
  8. 8. -0.5 0 0.5 TiO 2 1.0 S* S°/S + Dye Electrolyte Ox Red Cathode Electron energy (eV vs. NHE) -1.0 e - Wide band-gap semiconductor Current Generation in DSCs
  9. 9. <ul><li>Light absorption </li></ul>-0.5 0 0.5 TiO 2 1.0 S* S°/S + h ν Dye Electrolyte Ox Red Cathode 1 Electron energy (eV vs. NHE) -1.0 e - Wide band-gap semiconductor Current Generation in DSCs h +
  10. 10. <ul><li>Light absorption </li></ul><ul><li>Injection to semiconductor </li></ul><ul><li>Percolation </li></ul>-0.5 0 0.5 TiO 2 1.0 S* S°/S + h ν Dye Electrolyte Ox Red Cathode 1 2 3 Electron energy (eV vs. NHE) -1.0 e - Wide band-gap semiconductor Current Generation in DSCs h +
  11. 11. <ul><li>Light absorption </li></ul><ul><li>Injection to semiconductor </li></ul><ul><li>Percolation </li></ul><ul><li>Regeneration of oxidized dye </li></ul>-0.5 0 0.5 TiO 2 1.0 S* S°/S + h ν Dye Electrolyte Ox Red Cathode 1 2 3 4 Electron energy (eV vs. NHE) -1.0 Wide band-gap semiconductor Current Generation in DSCs e - h +
  12. 12. <ul><li>Light absorption </li></ul><ul><li>Injection to semiconductor </li></ul><ul><li>Percolation </li></ul><ul><li>Regeneration of oxidized dye </li></ul><ul><li>Regeneration of oxidized species </li></ul>-0.5 0 0.5 TiO 2 1.0 S* S°/S + h ν Dye Electrolyte Ox Red Cathode LOAD e - External circuit 1 2 3 4 Electron energy (eV vs. NHE) -1.0 Wide band-gap semiconductor Current Generation in DSCs h + 5 h + e -
  13. 13. Maximum Voltage in DSCs -0.5 0 0.5 TiO 2 1.0 S* S°/S + Dye Electrolyte Ox Red Maximum Voltage Cathode LOAD e - External circuit Electron energy (eV vs. NHE) -1.0 e - Wide band-gap semiconductor The voltage is determined mainly by the titania and redox couple in the electrolyte. h +
  14. 14. Why Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells are nicknamed the “Grätzel Cell” O’Regan and M. Gratzel, Nature 1991 Substrate Dye monolayer Dye Sensitized Mesoporous anatase TiO 2 Single crystal TiO 2 ( <101> anatase)
  15. 15. Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells are 12% Efficient. What can we do to make them better? <ul><li>Develop dyes to absorb more photons </li></ul><ul><li>Create new electrolytes that provide higher voltages. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells that can last for 30 years </li></ul>
  16. 16. Where do we need to absorb the light? Solar Spectrum Dye-sensitized solar cells absorb >85% of visible light, but almost no light in the near-infrared. Visible light Infrared Light
  17. 18. M.K. Nazeeruddin et al., J. Am. Chem.Soc . 123, 1613, (2001) N749 tri(cyanato)-2.22-terpyridyl-4,44-tricarboxylate)Ru(II) N3 cis -Ru(SCN) 2 L 2 (L = 2,2-bipyridyl-4,4-dicarboxylate) Design dyes that broadly absorb light
  18. 19. Design Near-Infrared Absorbing Dyes <ul><li>Can increase power conversion efficiency from 12% to 14% by absorbing light out to 900 nm. </li></ul><ul><li>Probably can’t make DSCs >14% using liquid electrolytes. </li></ul>Stanford/EPFL collaboration through the Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics (CAMP)
  19. 20. Increase the maximum voltage using plastic hole conductors -0.5 0 0.5 TiO 2 1.0 S* S°/S + Dye Electrolyte Ox Red V liquid electrolyte Cathode LOAD e - External circuit Electron energy (eV vs. NHE) -1.0 e - Wide band-gap semiconductor Bach & Gr ä tzel, Nature 1999 New Hole Conductors Potential to make >20% efficient devices by replacing liquid electrolyte with plastic “solid-state” hole conductors. Current “solid-state” DSCs are only 6.5% efficient. Very promising research area.
  20. 21. Aesthetic Advantages of Grätzel Cells versus conventional Solar Devices <ul><li>Dyes determine the color of the device. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Can be flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to make </li></ul>
  21. 22.
  22. 23. Solar Powered Solar Panel Sun Glasses The SIG, or “Self-Energy Converting Sunglasses” are quite simple. The lenses of the glasses have dye solar cells, collecting energy and making it able to power your small devices through the power jack at the back of the frame. “Infinite Energy: SIG”
  23. 24. Module Unit Outdoor Test Real Outdoor Test of DSC Modules   Series connected 64 DSC cells Kariya City at lat. 35°10’N, Asimuthal angle: 0° Facing due south, Tilted at 30°
  24. 25.
  25. 26. High School Students make their own solar cell anthocyanine dye from blackberries
  26. 28. <ul><li>Stanford University, KAUST Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics (CAMP), </li></ul><ul><li>Swiss CTI , CCEM-CH </li></ul><ul><li>Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Energy Office </li></ul><ul><li>US Air Force (European Office of Aerospace Research and Development) </li></ul><ul><li>FP7 European Joule Projects:  DSC-ROBUST *, NANOPEC, INNOVASOL </li></ul><ul><li>European Research Council, Adv. Res. Grant. </li></ul><ul><li>GRL Korea (with KRICT) </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial Partners, </li></ul>We are grateful for funding from: * DSC-Robust project coordinated by ECN Patten , This proposal received highest rating (15/15) of all proposals in energy field during first EU-FP7 call.
  27. 29. The DSC vs. Conventional Silicon PV TiO 2 Dye Electrolyte Cathode Light + ̶ n-type Silicon p-type Silicon <ul><li>Charge carriers (excited electrons) are produced throughout the semiconductor </li></ul><ul><li>Semiconductor considerations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Precise doping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>high purity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>high crystalinity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Light absorption and charge transport are decoupled </li></ul><ul><li>Relaxed constraints on individual components (each can be separately tuned) </li></ul><ul><li>Only monolayer of dye on TiO 2 </li></ul>+ ̶ + ̶ + ̶ + ̶
  28. 30. Solar Cell Efficiencies Silicon Solar Cell Efficiencies: Theoretical Maximum: 26% Best in Lab: 25% (Green, UNSW) Modules: 15-22% Thin Film Solar Cell Efficiencies: Theoretical Maximum: >22% Best in Lab: 20% (Noufi, NREL) Modules: 9-12% Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Efficiencies: Theoretical Maximum: 14-20% Best in Lab: 12% (Gr ätzel, EPFL ) Modules: 6-9%

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