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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Advisor 1

Yun Hang Hu

Committee Member 1

Joshua M. Pearce

Committee Member 2

Shiyue Fang


This study primarily focuses on the modification methods to promote the performance of ZnO DSSCs, which are evaluated by tuning three aspects, namely, (1) Dye loading condition, including temperature and time. (2) The electrode-heating procedure, considering the heating temperature and temperature ramping mode. (3) Zn(NO3)2 surface modification, taking into account the heating method, the Zn(NO3)2 concentration, and the soaking time. Characterization of the ZnO photoanode is performed using SEM, XRD, and electrochemical I-V testing. Low sensitization temperatures effectively inhibit the formation of the Zn2+/dye complex during the sensitization process. Besides, step heating results in a ZnO film with fewer cracks than that obtained by direct heating. Moreover, Zn(NO3)2 treatment is beneficial to the performance of DSSCs when it is combined with step heating. The optimized modification condition leads to a PCE of 4.19 %. This research provides widely applicable modification methods to improve the performance of ZnO DSSCs.