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Electrical Conducting Diamond Thin-Films: An Alternative Counter Electrode Material for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2011

R.D. Vispute
Affiliation:
Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc. 1450, UMBC Technology Center, Baltimore, MD-21227, USA
Alok Vats
Affiliation:
Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc. 1450, UMBC Technology Center, Baltimore, MD-21227, USA
Vinod Venkatesan
Affiliation:
Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc. 1450, UMBC Technology Center, Baltimore, MD-21227, USA
Andrew Seiser
Affiliation:
Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc. 1450, UMBC Technology Center, Baltimore, MD-21227, USA
Jaurette Dozier
Affiliation:
Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc. 1450, UMBC Technology Center, Baltimore, MD-21227, USA
Jeremy Feldman
Affiliation:
Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc. 1450, UMBC Technology Center, Baltimore, MD-21227, USA
Lance Robinson
Affiliation:
Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc. 1450, UMBC Technology Center, Baltimore, MD-21227, USA
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Abstract

Carbon is a favorable alternative as counter electrode material for dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC) as compared to Pt. Various carbon materials such as carbon nanotubes (CNT), activated carbon (AC) and carbon nanofibers have been investigated as counter electrodes for DSSC applications, based on their high electrochemical activity, high specific surface area, chemical inertness and high electrical conductivity. Among various phases of carbon, diamond is the most robust and chemical inert material that can be used for electrode application. It has band gap of 5.5 eV, high thermal conductivity. its electrical resistivity can be tuned by doping such as boron. In this work, we investigate boron doped diamond thin film electrode for DSSCs. The conductive diamond thin electrode films were grown using Blue Wave hot wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD) system. The electrical resistance in diamond thin films was tuned by controlling grow temperature, filament power, dopant concentration and sp3/sp2 ratio in the film, it thickness, and initial seeding process. Scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and electrical resistivity measurement were used to characterize morphology, diamond quality and electrode conductivity, respectively. Diamond film electrodes with optimized surface morphology and electrical characteristics were used for DSSC fabrication. We used nanocrystalline TiO2 paste (P25 Degussa) with average particle size of 25nm as an active layer, the electrolyte comprised of a LiI/I2 electrolyte in acetonitrile (CH3CN), a Ru based metal complex dye [cis-diisothiocyanato-bis(2,2’-bipyridyl-4,4’-dicarboxylato) ruthenium(II) bis(tetrabutylammonium)] OR N719 was used as sensitizer. The photovoltaic performance was determined using J-V characteristics under standard illumination conditions and was compared to a reference DSSC with Pt counter electrode. Results are discussed in the context of diamond electrical and durability and chemical stability of diamond films against most commonly used family of iodine based electrolytes.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2011

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References

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Electrical Conducting Diamond Thin-Films: An Alternative Counter Electrode Material for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells
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