Publication (UFCH JH): Semi-automatic spray pyrolysis deposition of thin, transparent, titania films as blocking layers for dye-sensitized and perovskite solar cells
For proper function of the negative electrode of dye-sensitized and perovskite solar cells, the deposition of a nonporous blocking film is required on the surface of F-doped SnO2 (FTO) glass substrates. Such a blocking film can minimise undesirable parasitic processes, for example, the back reaction of photoinjected electrons with the oxidized form of the redox mediator or with the hole-transporting medium can be avoided. In the present work, thin, transparent, blocking TiO2 films are prepared by semi-automatic spray pyrolysis of precursors consisting of titanium diisopropoxide bis(acetylacetonate) as the main component. The variation in the layer thickness of the sprayed films is achieved by varying the number of spray cycles. The parameters investigated in this work were deposition temperature (150, 300 and 450 °C), number of spray cycles (20–200), precursor composition (with/without deliberately added acetylacetone), concentration (0.05 and 0.2 M) and subsequent post-calcination at 500 °C. The photo-electrochemical properties were evaluated in aqueous electrolyte solution under UV irradiation. The blocking properties were tested by cyclic voltammetry with a model redox probe with a simple one-electron-transfer reaction. Semi-automatic spraying resulted in the formation of transparent, homogeneous, TiO2 films, and the technique allows for easy upscaling to large electrode areas. The deposition temperature of 450 °C was necessary for the fabrication of highly photoactive TiO2 films. The blocking properties of the as-deposited TiO2 films (at 450 °C) were impaired by post-calcination at 500 °C, but this problem could be addressed by increasing the number of spray cycles. The modification of the precursor by adding acetylacetone resulted in the fabrication of TiO2 films exhibiting perfect blocking properties that were not influenced by post-calcination. These results will surely find use in the fabrication of large-scale dye-sensitized and perovskite solar cells.
H. Krýsová, J. Krýsa, L. Kavan: Semi-automatic spray pyrolysis deposition of thin, transparent, titania films as blocking layers for dye-sensitized and perovskite solar cells, Beilstein J. Nanotechnol., 9 (2018) 1135-1145. doi:10.3762/bjnano.9.105