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Working area effects on the energetic distribution of trap states and charge dynamics of dye-sensitized solar cells

Yan, Wei, Huo, Ming-Ming, Hu, Rong, Wang, Yong
RSC advances 2019 v.9 no.3 pp. 1734-1740
electric current, electric potential, electron transfer, solar cells
Measuring the transient photoelectric signals (photovoltage or photocurrent) after optically perturbing dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) can provide information about electron transport and recombination. Herein, the energetic distribution of trap states in different working areas of DSSCs (0.16 cm²vs. 1 cm²) and their impacts on charge transport and recombination were investigated by means of time-resolved charge extraction (TRCE), transient photovoltage (TPV) and transient photocurrent (TPC) measurements. The results indicated that increasing the working area deepened the energetic distribution of trap states (i.e., increased the mean characteristic energy kBT₀), which hindered the electron transport within the photoanode, accelerated the electron recombination in high voltage regions, and reduced the charge collection efficiency. All abovementioned are the inherent reasons why the JSC in larger working area cells is significantly smaller than that in smaller area cells (11.58 mA cm⁻²vs. 17.17 mA cm⁻²). More importantly, as the investigation of high-efficiency large area solar cells is currently a promising research topic for new solar cells, we describe the importance of photoanode optimization to achieve high-efficiency DSSCs with large working area by improving charge collection efficiency.