Materials engineering towards Innovative Graetzel solar cells
Abstract: Nanostructured electrodes for new generation of high-voltage dye sensitized solar cells will be synthesized and characterized. The seemingly contradicting requirements for open mesoporosity and high specific surface area of the anode will be addressed by tailored synthesis of TiO2 nanomaterials in highly-organized nanostructures, multilayers and composites. The goal is to support fast ionic transport inside mesopores, rapid interfacial charge-transfer, high charge carrier mobility and large capacity for dye anchoring. Graphene and other nanocarbons will replace Pt as cathode catalyst. The syntheses will utilize advanced solgel techniques, supramolecular templating, solvothermal methods and CVD. Isotope (18-O, 17-O, 13-C) labeling will elucidate the structure, and interfacial reactivity both in charged/pristine states and upon photoexcitation (if relevant). The products will be characterized by electrochemical, spectroelectrochemical and hotoelectrochemical techniques in addition to standard analytical and imaging methods. Goals: Preparation of optimized TiO2 photoanode compatible with high-voltage redox mediators. Preparation of optimized carbonaceous cathode to replace Pt. Understanding of structural and electronic properties of the newly prepared electrode materials.