Utilization of Naturally Occurring Pigment Lycopene as a Photo-sensitizer for ZnO based Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Kisan M. Gadave,1* 

Pankaj K. Bhujbal,2 

D. R. Shinde1 

S. P. Rasale1

1Department of Chemistry, Prof. Ramkrishna More College, Akurdi, Pune-411 044, India.

2Advanced Physics Laboratory, Department of Physics, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune – 411 007. India.

Abstract

In the present investigations, we are reporting lycopene sensitized ZnO as a photoanode for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). To obtain ZnO nanopowder; initially, zinc peroxide is synthesized and then thermally decomposed. The bandgap of 3.25 eV was estimated by Tauc’s formula using the diffused reflectance spectra. Column chromatography was used to isolate lycopene (dye) molecules from a mixture of carotenoids and lycopene.  The ZnO films were deposited on conducting side of indium doped tin oxide (ITO) glass by the doctor blade method.  The dye adsorption time on ZnO film was optimized. These DSSCs show better performance for dye loading time of 24 hours.  A photoconversion efficiency of about 0.39 % with 281mV open-circuit voltage (Voc), 176 µAcm-2 photo-current density (Jsc), and 47% fill factor (FF) has been achieved for novel lycopene sensitized ZnO photoanode-based DSSC.

Utilization of Naturally Occurring Pigment Lycopene as a Photo-sensitizer for ZnO based Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells