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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 795138, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/795138
Research Article

A Combined Effect of Plasmon Energy Transfer and Recombination Barrier in a Novel TiO2/MgO/Ag Working Electrode for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

1Faculty of Science and Technology, Suan Dusit University, 295 Nakhon Ratchasima Road, Dusit, Bangkok 10300, Thailand
2School of Energy, Environment and Materials, Division of Materials Technology, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, 126 Pracha Uthit Road, Bangmod, Toongkru, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
3National Metal and Material Technology Center, 114, Thailand Science Park, Phaholyothin Road, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand

Received 15 June 2015; Revised 9 August 2015; Accepted 13 August 2015

Academic Editor: Leonardo Palmisano

Copyright © 2015 Chanu Photiphitak 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

Novel TiO2/MgO/Ag composite electrodes were applied as working electrodes of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The TiO2/MgO/Ag composite films were prepared by dip coating method for MgO thin films and photoreduction method for Ag nanoparticles. The MgO film thicknesses and the Ag nanoparticle sizes were in ranges of 0.08–0.46 nm and 4.4–38.6 nm, respectively. The TiO2/MgO/Ag composite films were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The TiO2/MgO/Ag composite electrodes were sensitized by immersing in a 0.3 mM of N719 dye solution and fabricated for conventional DSSCs. - characteristics of the TiO2/MgO/Ag DSSCs showed that the MgO film thickness of 0.1 nm and the Ag nanoparticle size of 4.4 nm resulted in maximum short circuit current density and efficiency of 8.6 mA/cm2 and 5.2%, respectively. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy showed that such values of short circuit current density and efficiency were optimal values obtained from plasmon energy transfer by 4.4 nm Ag nanoparticles and recombination barrier by the ultrathin MgO film.