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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 791438, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/791438
Research Article

Corrosion Monitoring of Flexible Metallic Substrates for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

SPECIFIC, College of Engineering, Swansea University, Baglan Bay Innovation Centre, SA12 7AX Port Talbot, UK

Received 24 May 2013; Accepted 10 July 2013

Academic Editor: Shahed Khan

Copyright © 2013 Trystan Watson 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.

Abstract

Two techniques for monitoring corrosion within a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) system are presented, which enable continuous, high sensitivity, in situ measurement of electrolyte breakdown associated with DSCs fabricated on metals. The first method uses UV/Vis reflectance spectrophotometry in conjunction with encapsulation cells, which incorporate a 25 m thick electrolyte layer, to provide highly resolved triiodide absorption data. The second method uses digital image capture to extract colour intensity data. Whilst the two methods provide very similar kinetic data on corrosion, the photographic method has the advantage that it can be used to image multiple samples in large arrays for rapid screening and is also relatively low cost. This work shows that the triiodide electrolyte attacks most metals that might be used for structural applications. Even a corrosion resistant metal, such as aluminium, can be induced to corrode through surface abrasion. This result should be set in the context with the finding reported here that certain nitrogen containing heterocyclics used in the electrolyte to enhance performance also act as corrosion inhibitors with significant stabilization for metals such as iron. These new techniques will be important tools to help develop corrosion resistant metal surfaces and corrosion inhibiting electrolytes for use in industrial scale devices.