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Incorporation of SiO2 nanoparticles to 1,3 dialkyl imidazolium ionic liquid

Urša Opara Krašovec 1Marko Berginc 1Nina Hauptman 2Marta Klanjsek Gunde 2Marko Topic 1

1. University of Ljubljana, Faculty of electrical engineering (FE), Trzaska 25, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia
2. National Institute of Chemistry (NIC), Hajdrihova 19, Ljubljana SI1000, Slovenia


Ionic liquids (IL's) are salts having unique property of being liquid at room temperature. They exhibit negligible vapour pressure, non-flammability and good electrochemical stability which makes them interesting for different applications. They can exchange flammable organic solvents in organic synthesis well as being used in electrolytes for different electrochemical systems (lithium batteries or dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSC)). Recently, they have been explored with their potential as reaction media for the fabrication of nanoscale inorganic matter (metal oxide aerogels). The 1,3-dialkyl imidazolium IL can be described also as well organized hydrogen-bonded polymeric supramolecules in solid, liquid and to some extent also in gas phases. Incorporation of different nanosized inhomogenities disturb the hydrogen-bonded network and in some cases generates nanostructures with polar and non-polar regions where inclusion type compounds can be found. We report on the electrolyte system based on 1,3-dialkyl imidazolium IL, iodine and inorganic nanoparticles developed for dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). Exchanging volatile electrolytes in DSSC with ILs and their solidification is one of the main research topics in order to bring the DSSC technology closer to the market. The solidification of IL electrolyte with inorganic nanoparticles results in an improvement of the overall DSSC efficiency for up to 20%. This can be explained with the unique ordering of the electrolyte structure being beneficial for the charge transport in the electrolyte. Imidazolium cations are adsorbed on the surface of the nanoparticles, and surrounded with a continuous chain of I- and I3- anions. Beside physical diffusion exchange reaction along the iodide-triiodide chain contributes to the charge transport in the electrolyte.


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Presentation: Oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2006, Symposium C, by Urša Opara Krašovec
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2006

Submitted: 2006-05-15 14:21
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44