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Building Integrated Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Final Report Summary - BI-DSC (Building Integrated Dye Sensitized Solar Cells)

BI-DSC project went far beyond the state of the art and made several important breakthroughs in critical points obstructing production of efficient and stable large area DSCs and PSCs suiting for integration with buildings: hermetic and stable large are devises were produced; efficient large area devices were demonstrated; new high performance and cost-effective materials for DSCs and PSCs were developed.
For the first time ever very hermetic and robust encapsulation of large area DSC and PSC devises with glass using laser-assisted glass-frit sealing was demonstrated. Laser sealing allowed significantly reduce the temperature of the process: 200-400 oC less than melting point of the glass-frit. For temperature sensitive photovoltaics, like PSCs, the laser-sealing process was optimized to allow sealing temperature at 120 oC and even room temperature. The developed sealing is applicable for large area devices, significantly outperforms conventional sealing with polymers in hermeticity and renders stable photovoltaics. The challenge for room-temperature hermetic sealing with glass the injection holes in liquid junction DSCs has been solved for the first time. Several patents on the developed sealing process was submitted and approved.
For large area photovoltaics glass substrate with enhanced conductivity were developed. New transparent substrates are strikingly superior to the analogues described elsewhere. Besides good conductivity the substrates possess heat and corrosion resistance and show suppressing behavior in back recombination reaction of collected photoelectrons with electrolyte.
New materials for cost effective and efficient DSCs were developed. Graphene-based counter-electrode with the same as Pt electrocatalytic activity, yielding simultaneously high efficiency and transparency was developed; hieratically structured composite ultra transparent photoanode with enhanced electron mobility for efficient DSCs was introduced; new cost-effective metal-free sensitizers possessing reasonable efficiency were produced; new functional electrical spacer layers for monolithic DSCs, derived from entirely water-based formulations without any volatile organics were developed rendering a device that for the first time ever demonstrate the highest efficiency for monolithic DSCs with liquid electrolyte and full stability.
Owing to the expertise acquired in Bi-DSC project, several steps beyond the state of the art was done in inner and cross-disciplinary directions. For applications in smart windows stable electrochromic devices self-powered by DSCs were developed. Development of photoelectrochemical cells yielded to an innovative lab device for solar water splitting possessing 47% photocurrent density enhance; hematite photoelectrode for solar water splitting with very high photovoltage of 1.20 V, the highest ever reported was developed; the record in stability of newly-developed hematite photoelectrode was achieved. New concept of unbiased solar energy storage and photoelectrochemical redox flow batteries was introduced and proved. Besides newly developed carbon quantum dots/graphene decorated titania nanocomposited were developed and demonstrated as very effective photocatalysts.
The novelty of the achievements of the project BI-DSC, as well as the novelty of the results obtained during inter and cross disciplinary developments in the framework of the project is confirmed by 38 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals. Developed technologies are protected with 4 patents and a new spin-off company – PixelVoltaic.