Asphaltene as light harvesting material in dye sensitized solar cell

Rajab Emhemed Abujnah, University of Texas at El Paso


This dissertation characterizes the first asphaltene DSSC (dye-sensitized solar cell), in which light to electricity conversion efficiency has improved from 0 % to 1.8 %. Four natural organic asphaltene factions, namely, un-fractionated asphaltene, Fr. 1 Asphaltene, Fr.2 asphaltene, Fr.3 and Fr.4 were extracted and tested for various solar cell parameters of TiO2 based dye-sensitized solar cell DSSC. DSSCs were fabricated using the four individual asphaltene dyes. The photovoltaic performance of the cells was examined by determining the various parameters such as open-circuit voltage, short-circuit current, fill factor, and series resistance. The overall energy conversion efficiency was also measured to correlate the effect of the different asphaltene fraction as well as concentration on the significant improvement of the solar cell parameters. The sensitization of TiO2 electrode with fr.3 asphaltene obtained at 90/10 toluene to pentane ratio has resulted in a maximum energy conversion efficiency of 1.8 %. Un-fractionated asphaltene, however, produces comparable results as Fr.3 when used as sensitizer in DSSC. A strategy to minimize series resistance, and improve photo current as well as open circuit voltage is also studied. Purifying asphaltene, using RTV mask, and employing the TiO2 compact layer as well as UV-O treatment have been shown to improve the performance of asphaltene DSSCs.

Subject Area

Environmental science|Environmental engineering

Recommended Citation

Abujnah, Rajab Emhemed, "Asphaltene as light harvesting material in dye sensitized solar cell" (2011). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10118135.