For the practical application of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), it is important to replace the conventional organic solvents based electrolyte with environmentally friendly and stable ones, due to the toxicity and leakage problems. Here we report a noble water-based thixotropic polymer gel electrolyte containing xanthan gum, which satisfies both the environmentally friendliness and stability against leakage and water intrusion. For application in DSSCs, it was possible to infiltrate the prepared electrolyte into the mesoporous TiO 2 electrode at the fluidic state, resulting in sufficient penetration. As a result, this electrolyte exhibited similar conversion efficiency (4.78% at 100 mW cm-2) and an enhanced long-term stability compared to a water-based liquid electrolyte. The effects of water on the photovoltaic properties were examined elaborately from the cyclic voltammetry curves and impedance spectra. Despite the positive shift in the conduction band potential of the TiO2 electrode, the open-circuit voltage was enhanced by addition of water in the electrolyte due to the greater positive shift in the I-/I3- redox potential. However, due to the dye desorption and decreased diffusion coefficient caused by the water content, the short-circuit photocurrent density was reduced. These results will provide great insight into the development of efficient and stable water-based electrolytes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- General Engineering
- General Physics and Astronomy