Influence of different heat treatment methods of titania film on performance of DSSCs
Titania mesoporous film is a key component of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) as it transfers electrons from dye molecule to external circuit through the transparent conducting oxide (TCO). Interparticle connectivity, porosity and cracks in the titania films play an important role in determining the performance of DSSCs. The heating schedule with respect to the repetitive coating to build up titania film thickness impacts the titania film characteristics. In the present study, experiments were designed to carry out heat treatments with expectation of improving connectivity and healing cracks. Repetitive screen printing was carried out with either heat treatment after each print step (multiple sintering) or the heat treatment was carried out just once after the desired thickness had been attained (single-step sintering). Interconnectivity of the titania particles in the sintered titania film was analyzed by impedance spectroscopy and nanoindentation. Titania films sintered by MS showed better performance in terms of higher efficiency for the corresponding DSSCs than those prepared using titania films sintered by SS.
The authors acknowledge Corning Inc. USA and DST India (Project codes 10DST030 and 11DST073) for financial support. We are thankful to Sophisticated Analytical Instruments Facility (SAIF), IIT Bombay, for providing the FEG-SEM facility. Industrial Research & Consultancy Centre (IRCC), IIT Bombay, is also acknowledged for providing the Nanoindenter facility.
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