Laser processing techniques, such as laser direct-write (LDW) and laser sintering, have been used to deposit mesoporous nanocrystalline TiO2 (nc-TiO2) films for use in dye-sensitized solar cells. LDW enables the fabrication of conformal structures containing metals, ceramics, polymers and composites on rigid and flexible substrates without the use of masks or additional patterning techniques. The transferred material maintains a porous, high surface area structure that is ideally suited for dye-sensitized solar cells. In this experiment, a pulsed UV laser (355nm) is used to forward transfer a paste of commercial TiO2 nanopowder (P25) onto transparent conducting electrodes on flexible polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) and rigid glass substrates. For the cells based on flexible PET substrates, the transferred TiO2 layers were sintered using an in-situ laser to improve electron paths without damaging PET substrates. In this paper, we demonstrate the use of laser processing techniques to produce nc-TiO2 films (~10 μm thickness) on glass for use in dye-sensitized solar cells (Voc = 690 mV, Jsc = 8.7 mA/cm2, ff = 0.67, η = 4.0 % at 100 mW/cm2).
This work was supported by the Office of Naval Research.