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A crucial step in Dye Solar Cell (DSC) fabrication is the sintering of the TiO2 layer which needs to guarantee good electromechanical bonding between nanoparticles whilst maintaining sufficiently large porosity to yield performing devices. The standard procedure for TiO2 sintering requires firing in an oven at ∼ 500°C. An alternative procedure consists in utilizing laser scanning processing which has the advantageous potential of being noncontact, local, low cost, rapid, selective, automated and scalable. We analyzed and optimised a laser process for the sintering of the TiO2 layers in dye solar cells analyzing temperature profiles, throughput and the embodied energy. The development of electronic and photovoltaic devices on plastic substrates is of considerable interest due to the advantages they bring in terms of flexibility and easy processing for lightweight, low-cost large-area applications. An alternative sintering procedure compatible with flexible substrates and large area processing consists in utilizing a UV lamp. We subjected TiO2 pastes deposited on conductive transparent substrates to UV irradiation. Fully plastic devices fabricated through this method showed efficiencies of 4%.
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