Provided are a novel ZnO dye-sensitized solar cell and method of fabricating the same. In one embodiment, deliberately added lithium ions are used to mediate the growth of ZnO aggregates. The use of lithium provides ZnO aggregates that have advantageous microstructure, morphology, crystallinity, and operational characteristics. Employing lithium during aggregate synthesis results in a polydisperse collection of ZnO aggregates favorable for porosity and light scattering. The resulting nanocrystallites forming the aggregates have improved crystallinity and more favorable facets for dye molecule absorption. The lithium synthesis improves the surface stability of ZnO in acidic dyes. The procedures developed and disclosed herein also help ensure the formation of an aggregate film that has a high homogeneity of thickness, a high packing density, a high specific surface area, and good electrical contact between the film and the fluorine-doped tin oxide electrode and among the aggregate particles.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under grant number DE-FG02-07ER46467 awarded by U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.