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Electrodeposition of Porous Crystalline ZnO/Dye Hybrid Thin Films and Development of Plastic Solar Cells

Tsukasa Yoshida 1,2Daisuke Komatsu 1,2Jingbo Zhang 1Keigo Ichinose 1,2Torsten Oekermann 3Kazumasa Funabiki 4Masaki Matsui 4Daniel Lincot 5

1. Gifu University, Environmental and Renewable Energy Systems, Graduate School of Engineering, Gifu 501-1193, Japan
2. Gifu University, Center of Innovative Photovoltaic Systems (CIPS), Yanagido 1-1, Gifu 501-1193, Japan
3. Leibniz University Hannover, Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Callinstrasse 3-3A, Hannover 30167, Germany
4. Gifu University, Department of Materials Science and Technology (MAST), Yanagido 1-1, Gifu 501-1193, Japan
5. Ecole Nationale Supérieure de chimie de Paris (ENSCP), 11 rue P. et M. Curie, Paris 75005, France


Porous crystalline ZnO/dye hybrid thin films are self-assembled by cathodic electrodeposition from aqueous mixed solutions containing Zn salt, dye and O2. These materials exhibit high performance as photoelectrodes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) because of the high surface area due to three dimensionally interconnected nanopores formed inside of ZnO grains. At the same time, they are well crystallized unlike the conventional electrodes based on sintering of TiO2 nanoparticles to achieve fast transport of electrons. Because the process requires neither high temperature nor aggressive chemicals, it permits use of plastic electrodes.

We have carried out extensive electrochemical and chemical analysis on ZnO/eosinY hybrid system. We have also carried out structural characterizations that elucidated the internal hybrid nanostructure of the film. Switching of electrocatalytic behavior of eosinY to O2 reduction was found to be the key mechanism for the evolution of the hybrid materials.

The highest conversion efficiency of 5.6% (AM 1.5) has been achieved when D149 dye (Mitsubishi Paper Mills) is used as a sensitizer. For further improvement, development of sensitizers specially suited for ZnO is necessary. We are developing new organic sensitizer dyes especially for near IR region that could not be utilized by D149.

These solar cells are light weight, flexible in shape and colors. Recent progress in application of colorful plastic solar cells by industrial partners will also be presented.


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Presentation: Invited at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2007, Symposium B, by Tsukasa Yoshida
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2007

Submitted: 2007-05-11 11:05
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44