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Deep-UV probing method detects electron transfer in photovoltaics

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Timothy Corn
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Sensitized solar cells consisting of a molecular or solid-state sensitizer that serves to collect light and inject an electron into a substrate that favors their migration are among the most studied photovoltaic systems at present.

Despite its importance in determining the potential of a photovoltaic device, current methods for monitoring the interfacial electron transfer remain ambiguous.

Now, using deep-ultraviolet continuum pulses, EPFL scientists have developed a substrate-specific method to detect electron transfer.

The group focused on two types of dye-sensitized solar conversion systems: one based on titanium dioxide, the other on zinc-oxide nanoparticles, both of which belong to the category of transition-metal oxide (TMO) substrates.

These TMOs are characterized by specific absorption bands, which are fingerprints of the system and are due to neutral electron-hole pairs, called an exciton.

The EPFL team aimed to overcome the limitations of current methods of measuring electron transfer, which all use light in the visible-to-terahertz frequencies (wavelengths around 400 - 30000 nm).

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Timothy Corn
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