Enhanced efficiencies in thin and semi-transparent dye-sensitized solar cells under low photon flux conditions using TiO2nanotube photonic crystal

Keyu Xie, Min Guo, Xiaolin Liu, Haitao Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract The photovoltaic output of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are greatly dependent on the amount of absorbed photons, which is limited by the thickness of active layer of DSSCs and the illumination conditions. To improve the cell performance under low irradiance condition, a photoanode was designed by attaching a TiO2nanotube photonic crystal (NTPC) onto the thin TiO2nanoparticle (NP) layer for applications in thin and semi-transparent DSSCs. It is found that the introduction of the TiO2NTPC significantly increases the light harvesting and hence the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the respective DSSCs. The TiO2NTPC provides multi-functionalities, such as Bragg reflection, light scatting and additional light harvesting from its nanotube structure, leading to more significant light harvesting enhancement in these thin and semi-transparent DSSCs. Compared with the single-layer TiO2NP based reference DSSCs, the above-mentioned synergic effects in a cell incoporated with a ∼2.3-μm-thick TiO2NTPC yield PCE enhancements up to 99.1% and 130%, under 1 and 0.5 Sun conditions, respectively. Meanwhile, an obvious compensation effect of TiO2NTPC to reduce the output power drop of these cells under tilted incient light is also demonstrated. The work will boost the practical applications of PC in irradiance sensitive devices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number21185
Pages (from-to)170-177
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2015


  • Low photon flux condition
  • Photoanode
  • Thin and semi-transparent dye-sensitized solar cells
  • TiO nanotube photonic crystal 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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