(375g) Effect of Ionic Liquid Electrolytes in DSSCs With Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) Inverse Opal Structures

Ramesar, N., CUNY City College of New York
Kretzschmar, I., The City College of New York, The City University of New York

Effect of Ionic Liquid Electrolytes in DSSCs with Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) Inverse Opal Structures

Naomi Ramesar and Ilona Kretzschmar

Department of Chemical Engineering, CUNY City College, 160 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031


AIChE Conference 2013:  Abstract

            Dye-sensitzed solar cells (DSSC) are low-cost alternatives to conventional solar cells that can work well in low light conditions.  Despite considerable study on improving the efficiency of DSSCs, the current liquid electrolyte cell has plateaud at 11.1%.  A major problem with these cells is the low viscosity and high volatility of the electrolyte, i.e., acetonitrile, which cause leakage and volatilization.  We propose that using ionic liquids (ILs), which are more viscous, less volatile, and conductive, may be more suitable electrolytes.  However, the higher viscosity of ILs may cause incomplete infiltration of the DSSC’s nanoporous TiO2 electrode.  Here, we present a study of DSSCs with TiO2 inverse opal electrodes of controlled pore sizes (0.1-1 mm) and ionic liquid derivatives of 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate (alkyl: ethyl, butyl, and decyl) with viscosities ranging from 25.2 to 721 cP.  The  stability and functionality of the DSSC is tested using current-voltage characteristics.