Preparation and characterization of plasmonic dye-sensitized solar cells based on Au@SiO2 AND Ag@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles for solar energy utilization

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Gazi University, Fen Bilimleri Enstitüsü, Turkey

Approval Date: 2022

Thesis Language: English


Principal Supervisor (For Co-Supervisor Theses): Mehmet Mahir Bülbül

Co-Supervisor: Odai N. Salman


It is crucial to fulfill rising energy demands with renewable and clean sources to ensure longterm environmental and economic viability. The future of solar cells as a viable renewable energy source hinges on the efficiency and cost improvements made these components. The dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is one of the most effective devices to producing electrons from solar light energy. Their benefits include low-cost processing. Despite their various benefits, DSSCs have a lower power conversion efficiency (PCE) than other solar cells. Different methods exist to create highly efficient DSSCs, including enhancing light harvesting and electron transport. In this thesis, Au@SiO2 and Ag@SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles were prepared using the laser ablation technique in liquid and these nanoparticles were employed in Plasmonic Dye Sensitized solar cells (DSSC). Currentvoltage(I-V) characteristic curves of DSSCs were performed both in the dark and under 100 mW/cm2 and obtained experimental results compared to each other at room temperature. Au@SiO2 and Ag@SiO2 core-shell NPs were prepared using different laser energies (50 mJ,100mJ,150 mJ) by pulsed laser ablation in an aqueous silica solution. The results highly showed the effect of the used laser energy on the structural properties of the prepared nanoparticles, which in turn affect the other properties. The XRD for Au@SiO2 and Ag@SiO2 shows that the crystallinity enhanced, and the crystallite size increased with increased laser energy. The transmission electron microscopy shows an increasing average diameter for both NPs types with the laser energy. The UV-visible absorbance shows significant plasmonic resonance for both NPs, with a slight red shift increasing the laser energy. Incorporating metal NPs into solar cell layers enhances their efficiency by increasing the active layer's absorption, especially at the plasmonic frequency. The effect of the different NPs was examined and compared with the bare-solar cell without nanoparticles. The DSSC solar cell composed of Au@SiO2 and Ag@SiO2 NPs shows significant enhancement in their characteristics. The results revealed that Au@SiO2 and Ag@SiO2 could be employed as selective scattering factors, promising efficient DSSCs.

Key Words : Core-shell; Nanostructure; Laser ablation; Plasmon; Dye-sensitized  solar cells.