This project consists in the production and study of the properties of new materials for the optimization of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) based on nanostructured TiO2 films and dyes of the family of N3. The research will focus on the study and optimization of new counter-electrodes, based on CoS and CuS nanoparticles, which show great interest in the field of industrial research and development, their promising electrochemical characteristics and their low cost. Besides obtaining the nanoparticles of CuS and CoS by hydrothermal technique assisted by microwave, a great effort is made in order to obtain an optimal paste precursor for the deposition of films of CuS and CoS by the technique of screen-printing, compatible with modern industrial production lines. Besides the production of counter-electrode, and as a secondary objective, we will study alternative electrolytes based redox couple Co2 + / Co3 +, using ionic liquids. This line of research began at Chose (Center for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy), a center for advanced research on solar energy, located in Rome, Italy, where the candidate was trained in manufacturing solar cells DSSC type. Structural characterization of nanoparticle films will be made through measurements of X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Symmetric cells will be mounted to the electrical characterization by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy in order to study the efficiency of the new counter-electrodes and their compatibility with different electrolytes. The basic characterization of the cells themselves will be carried out by the photo-current measurements and measurements of current versus applied voltage in the dark and under simulated solar illumination.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: