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ECN publication
Influence of a TiCl4 post-treatment on nanocrystalline TiO2 films in dye-sensitized solar cells
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 9-8-2006
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--06-059 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: Journal of Physical Chemistry B (American Chemical Society), , 2006, Vol.110, p.19191-19197.

In this study, the influence of the TiCl4 post-treatment on nanocrystalline TiO2 films as electrodes in dyesensitized solar cells is investigated and compared to nontreated films. As a result of this post-treatment cell efficiencies are improved, due to higher photocurrents. On a microscopic scale TiO2 particle growth on the order of 1 nm is observed. Despite a corresponding decrease of BET surface area, more dye is adsorbed onto the oxide surface. Although it seems trivial to match this finding with the improved photocurrent, this performance improvement cannot be attributed to higher dye adsorption only. This follows from comparison between incident photon to current conversion efficiency (IPCE) and light absorption characteristics. Since the charge transport properties of the TiO2 films are already more than sufficient without treatment, the increase in short circuit current density JSC cannot be related to improvements in charge transport either. Transient photocurrent measurements indicate a shift in the conduction band edge of the TiO2 upon TiCl4 treatment. It is concluded that the main contribution to enhanced current originates from this shift in conduction band edge, resulting in improved charge injection into the TiO2.

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