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Polyol Synthesis of Zinc Oxide-Graphene Composites: Enhanced Dye- Sensitized Solar Cell Efficiency

[ Vol. 3 , Issue. 1 ]

Author(s):

M.R. Philip, Hieu P. T. Nguyen*, R. Babu, V. Krishnakumar and Thang H. Q. Bui   Pages 52 - 60 ( 9 )

Abstract:


Background: We report on the fabrication and characterization of Zinc Oxide (ZnO) and Zinc Oxide Graphene (ZnO-G) composites via a simple chemical route-polyol process, using zinc nitrate hexahydrate, ethylene glycol and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) as the precursors. The ZnO-G composites exhibit significantly enhanced photoluminescence, which is ~ 8 times stronger than that of ZnO samples. Such improved optical property is attributed to the contribution of plasmonic effect of graphene in ZnO-G. Moreover, the high crystalline quality ZnO-G composites hold great potential for dyesensitized solar cell (DSSC) applications.

Method: Graphite oxide (GO) was synthesized using modified hummers method. RGO was then synthesized from GO by using hydrazine hydrate as a reducing agent.

Results: The short-circuit current density was increased in the ZnOG solar cell compared to that of bare ZnO device, which is around 1.930 mA/cm2 and 0.308 mA/cm2 respectively. The conversion efficiency of the ZnO-G DSSC was measured as 0.438%, which is ~ 7 times higher than that of ZnO DSSC. The enhanced conversion efficiency achieved in ZnO-G DSSC resulted from the enhanced absorption and large surface area of the composite compared to ZnO. The synthesized flakes like ZnO and ZnO-G composites offer promising materials for DSSC applications.

Keywords:

Zinc oxide, graphene, nanomaterials, porous, polyol method, dye sensitized solar cell.

Affiliation:

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 323 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Newark, NJ 07102, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 323 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Newark, NJ 07102, Central Scientific Industrial Research - Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu 630006, Central Scientific Industrial Research - Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu 630006, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 323 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Newark, NJ 07102

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