Description: Significantly improved charge-collection efficiencies result from a general chemical approach to synthesizing photocathodes. It has been reported that a dye-sensitized nickel oxide (NiO) photocathode, when coupled to a dye-sensitized photoanode, could significantly increase overall solar conversion efficiency. However, the conversion efficiencies of these cells are still low. There has been much effort to improve the conversion efficiency by fabricating films with improved properties and developing more effective sensitizing dyes for p-type NiO. One of the factors limiting the use of NiO for solar cell application is the low hole conductivity in p-NiO. A team of researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a general chemical approach to synthesize NiO-cadmium sulfide (CdS) core-shell nanoparticle films as photocathodes for p-type semiconductor-sensitized solar cells. Compared to dye-sensitized NiO photocathodes, the CdS-sensitized NiO cathodes exhibited two orders of magnitude faster hole transport (attributable to the passivation of surface traps by the CdS) and almost 100% charge-collection efficiencies.
Date: January 1, 2012
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