We present a photoanode for dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) based on ZnO nanoshell deposited by atomic layer deposition at 150 °C on a mesoporous insulating template. An ultrathin layer of ZnO between 3 and 6 nm, which exhibits quantum confinement effect, is found to be sufficient to transport the photogenerated electrons to the external contacts and exhibits near-unity collection efficiency. A 6 nm ZnO nanoshell on a 2.5 μm mesoporous nanoparticle Al2O3 template yields photovoltaic power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 4.2% in liquid DSC. Perovskite absorber (CH3NH3PbI3) based solid state solar cells made with similar ZnO nanostructures lead to a high PCE of 7%.
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