Controlled interfacial electron dynamics in highly efficient Zn 2SnO4-based dye-sensitized solar cells

Seong Sik Shin, Dong Wook Kim, Daesub Hwang, Jae Ho Suk, Lee Seul Oh, Byung Suh Han, Dong Hoe Kim, Ju Seong Kim, Dongho Kim, Jin Young Kim, Kug Sun Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Among ternary oxides, Zn2SnO4 (ZSO) is considered for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) because of its wide bandgap, high optical transmittance, and high electrical conductivity. However, ZSO-based DSSCs have a poor performance record owing largely to the absence of systematic efforts to enhance their performance. Herein, general strategies are proposed to improve the performance of ZSO-based DSSCs involving interfacial engineering/ modification of the photoanode. A conformal ZSO thin film (blocking layer) deposited at the fluorine-doped tin oxide-electrolyte interface by pulsed laser deposition suppressed the back-electron transfer effectively while maintaining a high optical transmittance, which resulted in a 22% improvement in the short-circuit photocurrent density. Surface modification of ZSO nanoparticles (NPs) resulted in an ultrathin ZnO shell layer, a 9% improvement in the open-circuit voltage, and a 4% improvement in the fill factor because of the reduced electron recombination at the ZSO NPs-electrolyte interface. The ZSO-based DSSCs exhibited a faster charge injection and electron transport than their TiO2-based counterparts, and their superior properties were not inhibited by the ZnO shell layer, which indicates their feasibility for highly efficient DSSCs. Each interfacial engineering strategy could be applied to the ZSO-based DSSC independently to lead to an improved conversion efficiency of 6%, a very high conversion efficiency for a non-TiO2 based DSSC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-509
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • electrochemistry
  • electron transfer
  • energy conversion
  • surface chemistry
  • zinc stannate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Energy


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