Effect of Er3+ and Yb3+ co-doping on the performance of a ZnO-based DSSC

Ermias Libnedengel Tsege, Hong Ha Thi Vu, Timur Sh Atabaev, Hyung Kook Kim, Yoon Hwae Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Zinc-oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) co-doped with different concentrations of rare-earth ions of erbium and ytterbium, (ZnO: Er3+, Yb3+) were synthesized for applications to ZnO-based dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC). The composite NPs used for the photoelectrode (PE) were synthesized using a simple co-precipitation technique. X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy measurements on the prepared samples revealed a single phase wurzite ZnO powder with approximate sizes in the range from 15 to 20 nm. Photoluminescence (PL) measurements confirmed that the synthesized composite NPs had a good up-conversion (UPC) property. The prepared powders were directly used to make PEs for DSSCs. The photovoltaic efficiency of the DSSCs was enhanced compared to that of pure ZnO-based DSSCs. Particularly, the PE made up of ZnO: Er3+, Yb3+ NPs with 4 wt% of Er3+ and Yb3+ generates a short-circuit current density (Jsc) of 4.794 mA·cm −2 and an open circuit voltage (Voc) of 0.602 V with an efficiency (η) of 1.58%. The result indicates a 48.4% Jsc improvement compared to a pure ZnO PE-based DSSC. The photocurrent improvement is due to an increase in the light-harvesting capacity of the PEs attained through the UPC property of ZnO: Er3+, Yb3+ NPs. As confirmed by PL and electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS), the use of ZnO: Er3+,Yb3+ NPs as PEs for DSSCs enhances charge concentration and transport as a result of n-type doping. However, all ZnO: Er3+, Yb3+ NP based PEs exhibited a lower Voc as a result of a down shift in the Fermi energy, which affects the overall efficiency of the cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1381-1389
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Korean Physical Society
Volume68
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

zinc oxides
solar cells
dyes
nanoparticles
photoluminescence
composite materials
ytterbium
short circuit currents
open circuit voltage
erbium
photocurrents
rare earth elements
impedance
current density
scanning electron microscopy
shift
cells
diffraction

Keywords

  • Co-precipitation
  • Defects
  • Nanoparticles
  • Photoelectrode
  • Rare-earth
  • Up-conversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Effect of Er3+ and Yb3+ co-doping on the performance of a ZnO-based DSSC. / Tsege, Ermias Libnedengel; Vu, Hong Ha Thi; Atabaev, Timur Sh; Kim, Hyung Kook; Hwang, Yoon Hwae.

In: Journal of the Korean Physical Society, Vol. 68, No. 12, 01.06.2016, p. 1381-1389.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tsege, Ermias Libnedengel ; Vu, Hong Ha Thi ; Atabaev, Timur Sh ; Kim, Hyung Kook ; Hwang, Yoon Hwae. / Effect of Er3+ and Yb3+ co-doping on the performance of a ZnO-based DSSC. In: Journal of the Korean Physical Society. 2016 ; Vol. 68, No. 12. pp. 1381-1389.
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AB - Zinc-oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) co-doped with different concentrations of rare-earth ions of erbium and ytterbium, (ZnO: Er3+, Yb3+) were synthesized for applications to ZnO-based dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC). The composite NPs used for the photoelectrode (PE) were synthesized using a simple co-precipitation technique. X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy measurements on the prepared samples revealed a single phase wurzite ZnO powder with approximate sizes in the range from 15 to 20 nm. Photoluminescence (PL) measurements confirmed that the synthesized composite NPs had a good up-conversion (UPC) property. The prepared powders were directly used to make PEs for DSSCs. The photovoltaic efficiency of the DSSCs was enhanced compared to that of pure ZnO-based DSSCs. Particularly, the PE made up of ZnO: Er3+, Yb3+ NPs with 4 wt% of Er3+ and Yb3+ generates a short-circuit current density (Jsc) of 4.794 mA·cm −2 and an open circuit voltage (Voc) of 0.602 V with an efficiency (η) of 1.58%. The result indicates a 48.4% Jsc improvement compared to a pure ZnO PE-based DSSC. The photocurrent improvement is due to an increase in the light-harvesting capacity of the PEs attained through the UPC property of ZnO: Er3+, Yb3+ NPs. As confirmed by PL and electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS), the use of ZnO: Er3+,Yb3+ NPs as PEs for DSSCs enhances charge concentration and transport as a result of n-type doping. However, all ZnO: Er3+, Yb3+ NP based PEs exhibited a lower Voc as a result of a down shift in the Fermi energy, which affects the overall efficiency of the cell.

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