Incorporation of graphene into SnO2 photoanodes for dye-sensitized solar cells

© 2016 Elsevier B.V.In dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) photoanodes, tin dioxide (SnO2) structures present a promising alternative semiconducting oxide to the conventional titania (TiO2), but they suffer from poor photovoltaic (PV) efficiency caused by insufficient dye adsorption and low energy value of the conduction band. A hybrid structure consisting of SnO2 and reduced graphene oxide (SnO2-RGO) was synthesized via a microwave-assisted method and has been employed as a photoanode in DSSCs. Incorporation of RGO into the SnO2 photoanode enhanced the power conversion efficiency of DSSC device by 91.5%, as compared to the device assembled without RGO. This efficiency improvement can be attributed to increased dye loading, enhanced electron transfer and addition of suitable energy levels in the photoanode. Finally, the use of RGO addresses the major shortcoming of SnO2 when employed as a DSSC photoanode, namely poor dye adsorption and slow electron transfer rate.