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Paper of the month

Efficient bifacial dye-sensitized solar cells through disorder by design


J. M. Miranda-Muñoz, S. Carretero-Palacios, A. Jiménez-Solano, Y. Li, G. Lozano, H. Míguez Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2016, Vol. 4, 1953-1961. DOI: 10.1039/C5TA10091G

Herein we realize an optical design that optimizes the performance of bifacial solar cells without modifyingany of the usually employed components. In order to do so, dielectric scatterers of controlled size andshape have been successfully integrated in the working electrodes of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs),resulting in bifacial devices of outstanding performance. Power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) as high as6.7% and 5.4% have been attained under front and rear illumination, respectively, which represent a 25%and a 33% PCE enhancement with respect to an 8 mm-thick standard solar cell electrode using platinumas the catalytic material. The remarkable bifacial character of our approach is demonstrated by the highrear/front efficiency ratio attained, around 80%, which is among the largest reported for this sort ofdevice. The proposed optimized design is based on a Monte Carlo approach in which the multiplescattering of light within the cell is fully accounted for. We identified that the spherical shape of thescatterers is the key parameter controlling the angular distribution of the scattering, the most efficientdevices being those in which the inclusions provide a narrow forward-oriented angular distribution ofthe scattered light.