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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

Stephen A. Hackney

Committee Member 2

Kazuya Tajiri


As a third generation of solar cells, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) possess advantages of easy preparation and relative high energy conversion efficiency. However, a major concern for DSSCs' dyes, such as, N719 (C58H86N8O8RuS2), N3 (C10H14N2O6), C217 (C4H8O2), Z907 (C42H52N6O4RuS2), coumarin dyes, indoline dyes, and tetrahydroquinoline dyes, are their high cost and toxicity. In this research, non-toxic food dyes, including Amaranth, Sunset Yellow, and Erythrosin B, have been explored. Experimental results demonstrated that the combination of two food dyes can increase power conversion efficiency by 186% - 1660%. Furthermore, a correlation was found between the conversion efficiency and the ratio of combination of dyes. The combination of Amaranth and Erythrosin B in ZnO/FTO exhibited the highest conversion efficiency amongst all possible combinations. The photoelectrodes with combined food dyes were systematically characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), and ultraviolet visible (UV-vis), incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiency (IPCE) measurement, current density-voltage evaluation (I-V), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM).