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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 517609, 8 pages
Research Article

Study of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells by Scanning Electron Micrograph Observation and Thickness Optimization of Porous Electrodes

1Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Hyogo, 2167 Shosha, Himeji, Hyogo 671-2280, Japan
2Laboratoire de Photonique et Interfaces, Institut des Sciences et Ingénierie Chimiques, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Station 6, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
3New Business Research Center, JGC Catalysts and Chemicals Ltd., 13-2 Kitaminato-Machi, Wakamatsu-Ku, Kitakyuushu, Fukuoka 808-0027, Japan

Received 13 April 2009; Accepted 12 May 2009

Academic Editor: Mohamed Abdel-Mottaleb

Copyright © 2009 Seigo Ito et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to improve the photoenergy conversion efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), it is important to optimize their porous electrodes. This paper examines the surface and cross-sectional views of the electrodes using scanning electron micrography. Two types of samples for cross-sectional viewing were prepared by mechanically breaking the substrate and by using an Ar-ion etching beam. The former displays the surface of the particles and the latter shows the cross-section of the particles. We found interesting surface and cross-sectional structures in the scattering layer containing the 400 nm diameter particles, which have an angular and horned shape. The influence of particle size and the thickness of the nanocrystalline- electrode in DSCs using four kinds of sensitizing dyes (D149, K19, N719 and Z907) and two kinds of electrolytes (acetonitrile-based and ionic-liquid electrolytes) are discussed in regards to conversion efficiency, which this paper aims to optimize.