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Solid and quasi-solids polymer electrolytes containing alternatives redox couples to the iodide/triiodide for use in dye sensitized solar cells.

Grant number: 13/18106-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2013
Effective date (End): August 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Inorganic Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Ana Flávia Nogueira
Grantee:Gabriela Gava Sonai
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


There is a large economical and environmental interest on energy that comes from renewable resources. In this context, the solar energy arises like an interesting alternative because of its way of sustainable production, since no emission or pollutant generation occur, no production of noises or other byproducts during operation. Another advantage is related to the amount of solar radiation that reaches the Earth's surface, about 3x1024 J/year, marking the Sun a source of inexhaustible energy and able to withstand future energy demands.Dye sensitized solar cells are attractive because of their more accessible production process than the silicon solar cells, the last one is the current leader in the photovoltaic market. However, incorporating a redox couple I-/I3- and a liquid electrolyte introduce serious stability problems, including: solvent evaporation, leaks, corrosion and sealing difficulties in the device.An ideal alternative emerges with the development of solid and quasi-solid electrolytes. In this context, polymers provide a matrix in which a metal salt can dissolve, resulting in a conductive polymer. The use of complexes of transitions metals, such as cobalt and nickel, like redox couples are considered promising as alternative for I-/I3-. Recently, coordination complexes containing these centers have demonstrated that it is possible to obtain a DSSC with efficiencies greater than 12%.This project proposes the preparation and characterization of new solid and quasi-solid polymer electrolytes containing a particular polymers and as redox couples the pairs: Co (II) / (III) and Ni (III) / (IV) to be applied in DSSC, as an alternative to the current liquid electrolytes. The polymers to be used are: PVDF-HFP (copolymer of Polyvinylidene Fluoride Hexafluoropropylene), Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride). The prepared polymer electrolytes will be characterized by the techniques of Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy and X-ray Diffraction. The solar cells will be characterized by the acquisition of the curve I vs. V, quantum efficiency as a function of wavelength (») curve and transient absorption spectroscopy. In this project we propose to study novel electrolytes that can reduce the problems associated with using a liquid electrolyte in DSSC. In a more detailed description, we will also evaluate the ionic conductivity, thermal properties and stability, in conjunction with an analysis of the solar cell's efficiency.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
IFTIKHAR, HAIDER; SONAI, GABRIELA GAVA; HASHMI, SYED GHUFRAN; NOGUEIRA, ANA FLAVIA; LUND, PETER DAVID. Progress on Electrolytes Development in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells. MATERIALS, v. 12, n. 12, . (13/18106-0)
SONAI, GABRIELA G.; TIIHONEN, ARMI; MIETTUNEN, KATI; LUND, PETER D.; NOGUEIRA, ANA F.. Long-Term Stability of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Assembled with Cobalt Polymer Gel Electrolyte. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, v. 121, n. 33, p. 17577-17585, . (13/18106-0)
HASHMI, SYED GHUFRAN; SONAI, GABRIELA GAVA; IFTIKHAR, HAIDER; LUND, PETER D.; NOGUEIRA, ANA FLAVIA. Printed single-walled carbon-nanotubes-based counter electrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells with copper-based redox mediators. Semiconductor Science and Technology, v. 34, n. 10, . (13/18106-0)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SONAI, Gabriela Gava. Gel polymer electrolyte containing cobalt redox mediator for application in dye-sensitized solar cells. 2018. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Química Campinas, SP.

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