18 May 2015 Pulsed microwave heating method for preparation of dye-sensitized solar cells for greener, faster, cheaper production of photovoltaic materials
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Abstract
Microwave heating methods are very popular for developing chemical syntheses that are achieved much more rapidly or with less solvent than via conventional heating methods. Their application to solar cell development has been primarily in developing improvements in the synthesis of dyes and curing of polymer substrates, but not in assisting the photoanode construction of dye-sensitized solar cells. Microwave heating of conducting substrates can lead to arcing of electricity in the reactor, which in turn, can lead to extensive degradation or complete destruction of the photoanode. Here we present our work in applying a pulsed microwave heating method that affords quicker dye deposition times in comparison to conventional heating (μw 40 min, conventional 60 min) with similar dye concentrations as characterized by UV-Vis absorbance, contact angle measurements, and cyclic voltammetry. Our photoanodes are constructed with anatase TiO2 cured onto FTO glass, and deposition of the N719 ruthenium dye either directly to the TiO2 layer or through amide bond formation to a silane layer that has been deposited on the TiO2 layer. Modest improvements in the solar energy conversion efficiency are shown through the microwave method in comparison to conventional heating (μw 0.78% vs. conventional 0.25% reported by K. Szpakolski, et. Al. Polyhedron, 2013, 52, 719-732.)
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Clifford B. Murphy, Robert Cotta, Timothy Blais, Charles B. Hall, "Pulsed microwave heating method for preparation of dye-sensitized solar cells for greener, faster, cheaper production of photovoltaic materials", Proc. SPIE 9493, Energy Harvesting and Storage: Materials, Devices, and Applications VI, 94930F (18 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177601; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2177601
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