Aqueous dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are attractive due to their sustainability, the use of water as a safe solvent for the redox mediators, and their possible applications in photoelectrochemical water splitting. However, the higher tendency of dye leaching by water and the lower wettability of dye molecules are two major obstacles that need to be tackled for future applications of aqueous DSSCs. Sensitizers designed for aqueous DSSCs are discussed based on their functions, such as modification of the molecular skeleton and the anchoring group for better stability against dye leaching by water, and the incorporation of hydrophilic entities into the dye molecule or the addition of a surfactant to the system to increase the wettability of the dye for more facile dye regeneration. Surface treatment of the photoanode to deter dye leaching or improve the wettability of the dye molecule is also discussed. Redox mediators designed for aqueous DSSCs are also discussed. The review also includes quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells, with a focus on improvements in QD loading and suppression of interfacial charge recombination at the photoanode.
ASJC Scopus subject areas