Synthesis and characterization of ZnO nanowires and their integration into dye-sensitized solar cells

J. B. Baxter, A. M. Walker, K. Van Ommering, Eray Aydil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

ZnO nanowires, grown on transparent conducting oxide substrates from aqueous solutions of methenamine and Zn(NO3)2, were integrated as the wide band gap semiconductor into dye-sensitized solar cells. ZnO nanowires and their growth mechanisms were studied using electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction and photoluminescence measurements. The solution growth method forms dense arrays of long nanowires oriented normal to the substrate surface because nanowires growing at off-normal angles are prevented from growing further when they run into neighbouring wires. Dye-sensitized solar cells with ZnO nanowires were assembled and characterized using optical and electrical measurements. Short circuit current densities of 1.3mAcm -2, and overall power conversion efficiencies of 0.3% were achieved with 8νm long nanowires. Photocurrent and efficiency increase with increasing nanowire length and improved light harvesting. Low surface area and a shunt that appears under light illumination limit the solar cell performance. Internal quantum efficiencies were similar for nanowires of all lengths, indicating that electron transport is not limited by the nanowire dimensions for aspect ratios less than 70.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNanotechnology
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - May 19 2006

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Nanowires
Methenamine
Dye-sensitized solar cells
Substrates
Photocurrents
Quantum efficiency
Short circuit currents
Oxides
Electron microscopy
Conversion efficiency
Aspect ratio
Solar cells
Photoluminescence
Current density
Diffraction
Lighting
Wire
X rays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Synthesis and characterization of ZnO nanowires and their integration into dye-sensitized solar cells. / Baxter, J. B.; Walker, A. M.; Van Ommering, K.; Aydil, Eray.

In: Nanotechnology, Vol. 17, No. 11, 19.05.2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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