The prospect of liquid-based dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs): A Comparative Review

  • Odi Th. E. Selan
Keywords: liquid│liquid interface, DSSC, solar cell, renewable energy


Energy demands including electricity consumptions have been increasing rapidly in
recent years. Silicon solar cells, the most highly used cells dominating global markets,
contribute significantly in providing sustainable form of energy. More importantly, it
promisingly enables people especially in rural and remote areas to have access to electricity
that could potentially stimulate rural development. However, this energy platform still suffers
for high production and maintenance costs and the use of hazardous materials. Soft
interface solar cells seems to take advantage over silicon solar cell design but review articles
explaining the advantages of this new approach are rarely found. This article provides a
general overview about an emerging solar cell based on liquid│liquid junction interface from
chemistry perspective, highlights its benefits over silicon based solar cells and argues that
this technology is a potential substitute for the existing ones by focusing specifically on the
issues of costs, environmental impacts, electron transfer and fabrication techniques.


Download data is not yet available.


1. Priasto A, Ginting E. Summary of Indonesia ’ S. ADB Pap Indonesia. 2016;02 (October 2015).

2. Gong J, Sumathy K, Qiao Q, Zhou Z. Review on dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs): Advanced techniques and research trends. Renew Sustain Energy Rev [Internet]. 2017;68(July 2016):234–46. Available from:

3. Kakiage K, Aoyama Y, Yano T, Oya K, Fujisawa JI, Hanaya M. Highly-efficient dye-sensitized solar cells with collaborative sensitization by silyl-anchor and carboxy-anchor dyes. Chem Commun. 2015;51(88):15894–7.

4. Xu Y, Li J, Tan Q, Peters AL, Yang C. Global status of recycling waste solar panels: A review. Waste Manag [Internet]. 2018;75:450–8. Available from:

5. Carella A, Borbone F, Centore R. Research progress on photosensitizers for DSSC. Front Chem. 2018;6(SEP):1–24.

6. Sherkar TS, Momblona C, Gil-Escrig L, Ávila J, Sessolo M, Bolink HJ, et al. Recombination in Perovskite Solar Cells: Significance of Grain Boundaries, Interface Traps, and Defect Ions. ACS Energy Lett. 2017;2(5):1214–22.

7. Iftikhar H, Sonai GG, Hashmi SG, Nogueira AF, Lund PD. Progress on electrolytes development in dye-sensitized solar cells. Vol. 12, Materials. 2019.

8. Molina-osorio AF, Gamero-quijano A, Peljo P, Scanlon MD. Membraneless Energy Conversion and Storage using Immiscible Electrolyte Solutions. Curr Opin Electrochem [Internet]. 2020; Available from:

9. Plana D, Fermín DJ. Photoelectrochemical activity of colloidal TiO2 nanostructures assembled at polarisable liquid/liquid interfaces. J Electroanal Chem [Internet]. 2016;780:373–8. Available from:

10. Eugster N, Fermín DJ, Girault HH. Photoinduced electron transfer at liquid/liquid interfaces: Dynamics of the heterogeneous photoreduction of quinones by self-assembled porphyrin ion pairs. J Am Chem Soc. 2003;125(16):4862–9.

11. Plana D, Bradley KA, Tiwari D, Fermín DJ. Over 75% incident-photon-to-current efficiency without solid electrodes. Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2016;18(18):12428–33.

12. Suárez-herrera MF, Cazade P, Thompson D, Scanlon MD. Monitoring Transient Changes in the Structure of Water at a Polarised Liquid-Liquid Interface using Electrocapillary Curves. Electrochem commun [Internet]. 2019;106564. Available from:

13. Nagatani H, Sakae H, Torikai T, Sagara T, Imura H. Photoinduced Electron Transfer of PAMAM Dendrimer-Zinc(II) Porphyrin Associates at Polarized Liquid|Liquid Interfaces. Langmuir. 2015;31(22):6237–44.

14. Samec Z. Electrochemistry at the interface between two immiscible electolyte solutions (IUPAC technical report). Pure Appl Chem. 2004;76(12):2147–80.

15. Liu J, Wöll C. Surface-supported metal-organic framework thin films: Fabrication methods, applications, and challenges. Chem Soc Rev [Internet]. 2017;46(19):5730–70. Available from:

16. Fermín DJ, Ding Z, Duong HD, Brevet PF, Girault HH. Photoinduced electron transfer at liquid/liquid interfaces. 1. Photocurrent measurements associated with heterogeneous quenching of zinc porphyrins. J Phys Chem B. 1998;102(50):10334–41.

17. Rao CNR, Kalyanikutty KP. The liquid-liquid interface as a medium to generate nanocrystalline films of inorganic materials. Acc Chem Res. 2008;41(4):489–99.

18. Ranjan S, Balaji S, Panella RA, Ydstie BE. Silicon solar cell production. Comput Chem Eng [Internet]. 2011;35(8):1439–53. Available from:

19. Samec Z, Eugster N, Fermiín DJ, Girault HH. A generalised model for dynamic photocurrent responses at dye-sensitised liquid|liquid interfaces. J Electroanal Chem. 2005;577(2):323–37.

20. Molina-Osorio AF, Cheung DL, O’Dwyer C, Stewart AA, Dossot M, Herzog G, et al. Self-Assembly of Porphyrin Nanostructures at the Interface Between Two Immiscible Liquids. J Phys Chem C [Internet]. 2020;acs.jpcc.0c00437. Available from:

21. Nagatani H, Fermı DJ, Girault HH. Adsorption and Aggregation of meso -Tetrakis ( 4-carboxyphenyl ) porphyrinato Zinc ( II ) at the Polarized Water | 1 , 2-Dichloroethane Interface. 2003;(Ii):786–90.

22. Lin L, Wang T, Lu Z, Liu M, Guo Y. In situ measurement of the supramolecular chirality in the langmuir monolayers of achiral porphyrins at the air/aqueous interface by second harmonic generation linear dichroism. J Phys Chem C. 2014;118(13):6726–33.

23. Cheung DL, Carbone P. How stable are amphiphilic dendrimers at the liquid-liquid interface? Soft Matter. 2013;9(29):6841–50.

24. Forniés E, Ceccaroli B, Méndez L, Souto A, Vázquez AP, Vlasenko T, et al. Mass production test of solar cells and modules made of 100% umg silicon. 20.76% record efficiency. Energies. 2019;12(8).

25. Luque A. Handbook of Photovoltaic Science and Engineering. 2011;

26. Assessment EI. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). 2015;(February).

27. Troszak TA. Why do we burn coal and trees to make solar panels ?. 2019;(C).

28. Mulvaney D. Solar Energy Isn’t Always as Green as You Think [Internet]. IEEE Spectrum. 2014. p. 1–7. Available from:

29. Christina Nunez. How Green Are Those Solar Panels, Really? 2014-11-11. 2014.

30. Agency E, Co-operation E, Climate G. ABOUT IEA-PVPS.

31. Bozyigit D, Lin WMM, Yazdani N, Yarema O, Wood V. A quantitative model for charge carrier transport, trapping and recombination in nanocrystal-based solar cells. Nat Commun. 2015;6.

32. Polman A, Knight M, Garnett EC, Ehrler B, Sinke WC. Photovoltaic materials: Present efficiencies and future challenges. Science (80). 2016;352(6283).
How to Cite
Selan, O. (2020). The prospect of liquid-based dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs): A Comparative Review. Chemistry Notes, 1(1), 69-81. Retrieved from

Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.