Research Article


2012, 5(1): 1–10


Facile Synthesis of ZnO Nanocrystals via a Solid State Reaction for High Performance Plastic Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Xiong Yin1 (), Bin Wang1,2, Meng He1, and Tao He1 ()

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1 Key Laboratory of Standardization and Measurement for Nanotechnology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing 100190, China
2 Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Keywords: Flexible dye-sensitized solar cells, solid state reaction, zinc oxide, low temperature fabrication, intensity modulated photocurrent spectroscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
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  • Abstract
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We report the facile synthesis of ZnO nanocrystals via a one-step solid state reaction at room temperature and their application as the photoanode in plastic dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). ZnO nanoparticles were prepared utilizing zinc acetate dihydrate and sodium hydroxide with a short grinding time and without a sintering process. The as-prepared samples with the polycrystalline hexagonal wurtzite structure were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The obtained ZnO nanoparticles exhibited high crystallinity even without a high temperature sintering treatment during the preparation process. The effects of compression post-treatment on the photovoltaic performance of DSCs were also investigated using intensity modulated photocurrent spectroscopy (IMPS), incident photo-to-current conversion efficiency (IPCE), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The results indicate that the improvement of power conversion efficiency after compression post-treatment of ZnO photoelectrode can be attributed to its high photoelectron collection efficiency and effective electron transport. Under the optimized conditions, a full plastic D149-sensitized ZnO solar cell measured under illumination of 100 mW·cm–2 (AM 1.5G) presents an energy conversion efficiency of 3.76% with open-circuit voltage of 0.688 V, short-circuit current density of 8.55 mA·cm–2, and fill factor of 0.64. These results demonstrate that the one-step solid state reaction is a convenient and effective method for the synthesis of ZnO nanocrystals for use in plastic DSCs.
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Facile Synthesis of ZnO Nanocrystals via a Solid State Reaction for High Performance Plastic Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells. Nano Res. 2012, 5(1): 1–10

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