An Investigation of Transition Metal Oxides in p-Type Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Chemistry Honors Theses; 2014
In a society increasingly dependent on energy production, the need for alternative energy forms is becoming a priority. Fossil fuels and other traditional means by which the world has been supplying their energy are running out, as well as detrimentally harming the environment. Research in solar energy has become a priority, as all energy originates from the sun. The aim of the project was to investigate the use of low cost transition metal oxides in the 3d row of the periodic table, such as manganese oxide, cobalt oxide, iron oxide, and vanadium oxide as alternatives to the traditional p-type transparent conducting oxides (NiO) in p-type dye sensitized solar cells. The various oxidative states possible of these transition metal oxides makes them viable candidates in the exploration of their use in p-type dye-sensitized solar cells, due to the oxidation reaction mechanism hypothesized to occur with NiO p-type dye sensitized solar cells. The overall goal of this research was to determine whether these transition metal oxides function similarly to NiO in p-type dye sensitized solar cells. Various pastes of these transition metal oxides were made and adhered to fluorine-doped tin oxide glass plates. These films were then oxidized at various temperatures in order to create a crystalline surface of the transition metal oxide. The finished films were then sensitized with a dye and their solar cell performances were tested. The data show that the dye sensitized solar cells that contain transition metal monoxides performed better than the oxides of higher oxidative states. The study was extended to include the transition metal oxides of tin-doped indium oxide as well as tungsten oxide, as they produced photocurrent comparable to NiO during preliminary studies. The results of this investigation provide evidence that various transition metal oxides are possible alternatives to p-type transparent conducting oxides and are promising candidates for use in dye sensitized solar cell production.
Academic Major: Chemical Engineering
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