A physical vapor deposition based molybdenum trioxide (MoO3) thin film is demonstrated as an efficient reverse-electron recombination barrier layer (RBL) at the fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO)/titanium dioxide (TiO2) interface in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Thin films of MoO3 show an average optical transmittance of ∼77% in a spectral range of 350–800 nm with bandgap value of ∼3.1 eV. For an optimum thickness of MoO3, deposited for 5 minutes, the resulting DSSCs showed 15% enhancement in efficiency (η) compared to the reference DSSC which did not use MoO3 RBL; this suggests that MoO3 is effectively suppressing interfacial recombination at the FTO/TiO2 interface. Further, increasing the thickness of MoO3 RBL at the FTO/TiO2 interface (20 minutes deposition) is observed to impede charge transport, as noticed with 55% reduction in η compared to the reference DSSC. Thin film MoO3 RBL with an optimum thickness value at the FTO/TiO2 interface efficiently blocks the leaky transport pathways in the mesoporous TiO2 nanoparticle layer and facilitates efficient charge transport as confirmed by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.
A. Ashok, Vijayaraghavan, S. N., Nair, S. V., and Dr. Mariyappan Shanmugam, “Molybdenum Trioxide Thin Film Recombination Barrier Layers for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells”, RSC Advances , 2017.