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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2016, Article ID 3703167, 8 pages
Research Article

Effect of Solvent, Dye-Loading Time, and Dye Choice on the Performance of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Promising Centre of Sensors and Electronic Devices and Department of Chemical Engineering, Najran University, P.O. Box 1988, Najran 11001, Saudi Arabia

Received 11 September 2015; Accepted 24 December 2015

Academic Editor: Antonios Kelarakis

Copyright © 2016 Fahd M. Rajab. 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.


Anatase titania films with a thickness of up to 20 μm and deposited over a fluorine-doped tin-oxide substrate are impregnated with ruthenium dyes N-719 and N-749 using Dip and supercritical-fluid methods for the purpose of fabricating dye-sensitized solar cell devices. The dyes are dissolved in different solvent mixtures, including supercritical carbon dioxide, as well as combinations of more traditional solvents including mixtures of acetonitrile, and t-butanol. Analytical studies included thin-film analyzing and scanning electron microscopy to measure titania film thickness and porosity, UV-Vis spectroscopy to quantify dye concentration, and current-voltage device characterizations to assess energy conversion efficiency, as well as open-circuit voltage decay measurements and quantum efficiency to examine electron collection efficiency. A significant result is that using the dye N-749 in a solvent that includes supercritical carbon dioxide leads to energy conversion efficiencies that are higher for devices with a thick 20 μm semiconductor film than for the case of devices with thinner films, including the 10 μm film thickness that is traditionally considered an upper threshold. The supercritical-fluid method for the N-719 dye also enabled shorter impregnation duration than more conventional classical Dip Methods.