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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 839757, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/839757
Research Article

Development of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells with Sputtered N-Doped Thin Films: From Modeling the Growth Mechanism of the Films to Fabrication of the Solar Cells

1Plasmas and Processes Laboratory, Technological Institute of Aeronautics, São José dos Campos 12228-900, SP, Brazil
2Institute of Science and Technology, Federal University of São Paulo, São José dos Campos 12245-000, SP, Brazil

Received 7 May 2013; Accepted 7 January 2014; Published 25 February 2014

Academic Editor: Cooper H. Langford

Copyright © 2014 D. A. Duarte 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

In this paper, nitrogen-doped TiO2 thin films were deposited by DC reactive sputtering at different doping levels for the development of dye-sensitized solar cells. The mechanism of film growth during the sputtering process and the effect of the nitrogen doping on the structural, optical, morphological, chemical, and electronic properties of the TiO2 were investigated by numerical modeling and experimental methods. The influence of the nitrogen doping on the working principle of the prototypes was investigated by current-voltage relations measured under illuminated and dark conditions. The results indicate that, during the film deposition, the control of the oxidation processes of the nitride layers plays a fundamental role for an effective incorporation of substitutional nitrogen in the film structure and cells built with nitrogen-doped TiO2 have higher short-circuit photocurrent in relation to that obtained with conventional DSSCs. On the other hand, DSSCs built with nondoped TiO2 have higher open-circuit voltage. These experimental observations indicate that the incorporation of nitrogen in the TiO2 lattice increases simultaneously the processes of generation and destruction of electric current.