Rapid Thermal Annealing of ZnO Nanocrystalline Films for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
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Nanocrystalline ZnO thin films were prepared by the sol–gel method and annealed at 600 °C by conventional (CTA) and rapid thermal annealing (RTA) processes on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO)-coated glass substrates for application as the work electrode for a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). ZnO films were crystallized using a conventional furnace and the proposed RTA process at annealing rates of 5 °C/min and 600 °C/min, respectively. The ZnO thin films were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analyses. Based on the results, the ZnO thin films crystallized by the RTA process presented better crystallization than films crystallized in a conventional furnace. The ZnO films crystallized by RTA showed higher porosity and surface area than those prepared by CTA. The results show that the short-circuit photocurrent (J sc) and open-circuit voltage (V oc) values increased from 4.38 mA/cm2 and 0.55 V for the DSSC with the CTA-derived ZnO films to 5.88 mA/cm2 and 0.61 V, respectively, for the DSSC containing the RTA-derived ZnO films.
KeywordsZnO Rapid thermal annealing Nanocrystalline Dye-sensitized solar cells
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