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Understanding the Role of the Sulfide Redox Couple (S2–/Sn2–) in Quantum Dot-Sensitized Solar Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 22.06.2011, 00:00 by Vidhya Chakrapani, David Baker, Prashant V. Kamat
The presence of sulfide/polysulfide redox couple is crucial in achieving stability of metal chalcogenide (e.g., CdS and CdSe)-based quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSC). However, the interfacial charge transfer processes play a pivotal role in dictating the net photoconversion efficiency. We present here kinetics of hole transfer, characterization of the intermediates involved in the hole oxidation of sulfide ion, and the back electron transfer between sulfide radical and electrons injected into TiO2 nanoparticles. The kinetic rate constant (107–109 s–1) for the hole transfer obtained from the emission lifetime measurements suggests slow hole scavenging from CdSe by S2– is one of the limiting factors in attaining high overall efficiency. The presence of the oxidized couple, by addition of S or Se to the electrolyte, increases the photocurrent, but it also enhances the rate of back electron transfer.