Quantum-confined SnO2 nanoparticles of size <6 nm are synthesized by a hydrothermal process and these nanoparticles are dispersed in a colloidal solution to deposit onto transparent conductive glasses (FTO) via spray-pyrolysis deposition (SPD) technique. The spray-pyrolysis deposited SnO2 films are used as photoanode in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Very high current and improved conversion efficiencies are the characteristic of these SnO2 solar cells compared to those from literature. Applying an Nb2O5 energy layer on top of SnO2 films via RF sputtering resulted in an improvement in performance of these solar cells. Ag nanoparticle/Nb2O5 composite is applied as plasmonic surface passivation layer on SnO2 photoanodes which improved the absorption spectra of the dye-sensitized photoanodes and the current density (17.44–23.12 mA/cm2) and power conversion efficiencies (4.36%–6.47%) of the DSSCs. This article thus focuses on synthesis and quantum confinement properties of SnO2 nanoparticles, the effect of Nb2O5 and Ag nanoparticles on the optical and electronic properties of the SnO2 photoanodes and finally the photovoltaic properties of the SnO2 photoanodes with Nb2O5/Ag-Nb2O5 surface passivation layers.
S. Suresh, Unni, G. E., Satyanarayana, M., A. Nair, S., and Pillai, V. P. Mahadevan, “Plasmonic Ag@Nb2O5 Surface Passivation Layer on Quantum Confined SnO2 Films for High Current Dye-sensitized Solar Cell Applications”, Electrochimica Acta, vol. 289, pp. 1 - 12, 2018.