Plasmonic Enhancement of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells in the Red-to-NIR Region using Triangular Core-Shell Ag@SiO2 Nanoparticles.

ACS applied materials & interfaces

PubMedID: 24102234

Gangishetty MK, Lee KE, Scott RW, Kelly TL. Plasmonic Enhancement of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells in the Red-to-NIR Region using Triangular Core-Shell Ag@SiO2 Nanoparticles. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013;.
Recently, plasmonic metal nanoparticles have been shown to be very effective in increasing the light harvesting efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. Most commonly, spherical nanoparticles composed of silver or gold are used for this application; however, the localized surface plasmon resonances of these isotropic particles have maxima in the 400 - 550 nm range, limiting any plasmonic enhancements to wavelengths below 600 nm. Herein, we demonstrate that the incorporation of anisotropic, triangular silver nanoprisms in the photoanode of dye-sensitized solar cells can dramatically increase the light harvesting efficiency in the red and near-infrared regions. Core-shell Ag@SiO2 nanoprisms were synthesized and incorporated in various quantities into the titania pastes used to prepare the photoanodes. This optimization led to an overall 32 ± 17% increase in the power conversion efficiency of cells made using 0.05% (w/w) of the Ag@SiO2 composite. Measurements of the incident photon-to-current efficiency provided further evidence that this increase is a result of improved light harvesting in the red and near-infrared regions. The effect of shell thickness on nanoparticle stability was also investigated, and it was found that thick (30 nm) silica shells provide the best protection against corrosion by the triiodide-containing electrolyte, while still enabling large improvements in power conversion efficiency to be realized.