Dye-sensitised solar cells (Gratzel cells)

The architecture of the original dye-sensitised solar cell (DSSC) reported by O’Regan and Gratzel (1991) is shown in Fig. 1.7a (see also Fig. 8.1). This consisted of two conducting glass electrodes, one coated with a compact but highly porous film of TiO2 on which was adsorbed a ruthenium polypyridyl dye, and the other platinised, separated by a solution containing a high concentration of the iodide/triiodide redox couple in an organic solvent. These mesoscopic solar cells—to give them the name preferred by their inventors—or Gratzel cells—to give them the name quickly conferred on them by others—had a reported efficiency of 7.1% in simulated sunlight...

Read More

Organic solar cells

Organic solar cells are photovoltaic devices containing thin (typically ~100 nm) films of light-absorbing organic semiconductors such as conjugated polymers or small molecules. The term ‘organic solar cell’ is something of a misnomer, since the some of the most efficient devices contain (essentially inorganic) fullerene derivatives as electron

Подпись: acceptor phase Подпись: donor phaseimage011glass TCO

(hole collector) ■ donor phase

Подпись:acceptor phase

Подпись: (a) image014

Figure 1.5 Typical organic photovoltaic cell architectures. (a) Bilayer cell; (b) bulk heterojunction cell.

acceptors. Nevertheless, the term ‘organic solar cell’ and its equivalent, ‘organic photo – voltaics’ (OPV), are a convenient shorthand which we, like others, shall use for both purely organic and hybrid organic/inorganic devices.

Jessica-Benson Smith and Jenny Nelso...

Read More

Extremely thin absorber (ETA) cells

ETA (Extremely Thin Absorber) cells are the subject of Chapter 6 by Konenkamp, and here we provide only a brief introduction and overview. An ETA cell is an inorganic all­solid-state photovoltaic cell with a structured electron-conducting substrate, usually an n – type semiconducting oxide such as TiO2 or ZnO, and a solid hole-conducting superstrate, usually a p-type semiconductor such as CuSCN, CuAlO2, PEDOT or sp/ro-OMeTAD. In between the two is sandwiched an extremely thin (~5-150 nm) layer of a strongly absorbing inorganic semiconductor such as a-Si:H (Wahi and Konenkamp, 1992), CdTe or CdS (Siebentritt et al., 1997) or CuInS2 (Moller et al., 1998). The absorber can be in the form of either a continuous layer or nanoparticles of a semiconductor such as PbS (Wienke et al., 2003)...

Read More

Historical perspective

The first recorded observations of a photoelectrochemical (PEC) phenomenon were made by the young Henri Becquerel (Becquerel, 1839), who noted the photocurrent and photovoltage produced by sunlight acting on silver chloride-coated platinum electrodes in various electrolytes. Having satisfied himself that these effects were not thermal, Becquerel postulated that they resulted from a solid-state photochemical reaction, for which he obtained rough spectral response curves by the use of colour filters...

Read More



The Old Vicarage, Grantchester, Cambridge CB3 9ND, UK
mda12@cam. ac. uk

Where from citadels on high Her imperial standards fly, Let the hot sun Shine on, shine on.

W. H. Auden, Twelve Songs, 1935-1938.

1.1 Themes

The major themes of this book are announced by its title: nanostructured and photo­electrochemical systems for solar energy conversion. It deals mainly with the direct, i. e. non-thermal, conversion of solar photonic energy into electrical power by photo­electrochemical or advanced photovoltaic means in extended-junction, mesoporous, nanocomposite or space-quantised structures and devices...

Read More


Thus daily were my sympathies enlarged,

And thus the common range of visible things Grew dear to me: already I began To love the sun, a Boy I lov’d the sun,

Not as I since have lov’d him, as a pledge And surety of our earthly life, a light Which while we view we feel we are alive;

But, for this cause, that I had seen him lay His beauty on the morning hills, had seen The western mountain touch his setting orb,

In many a thoughtless hour, when, from excess Of happiness, my blood appear’d to flow With its own pleasure, and I breath’d with joy.

William Wordsworth, The Prelude: Book 2: School-Time, 1805.

More solar energy falls on the Earth’s surface every day than the total amount of energy the world’s population would consume in 16 years at present rates of utilisation...

Read More


Xin Ai received her BS degree from Jilin University, Changchun, China. In 2004, she obtained her PhD in chemistry from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, where she worked on the investigation of photoinduced interfacial electron-transfer dynamics on dye molecule and inorganic semiconductor nanocomposite films using femtosecond infrared spectroscopy. She then joined National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado, as a postdoctoral associate. Her primary research interest is in the photochemical and photoelectrochemical properties of novel molecular materials, including conjugated polymers, carbon nanotubes and quantum dots, which have been used to fabricate a new generation of solar cells...

Read More