Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Edward Kolodka


Poly(diallyldimethylammonium iodide) (poly(DADMAI)) was obtained from poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (poly(DADMAC)), via a simple ion exchange. This novel polyelectrolyte was then swelled with 1-alkyl-3-methyl imidazolium iodide and used in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). It was hypothesized that the swelled polyelectrolyte would combine the excellent performance of low viscosity electrolyte solvents with the high stability of low vapor pressure solid-state electrolytes, leading to a high performance and an improved longevity in DSSC electrolytes. A factorial design was implemented to determine the effects of polymer type, polymer molecular weight, ionic liquid loading and ionic liquid alkyl chain length. High power conversion efficiencies achieved 1.60% for low molecular weight poly(DADMAI) swelled with 1-hexyl-3-methyl imidazolium iodide and after 45 days 41.0% of this initial power conversion efficiency was retained. This is a substantial improvement over acetonitrile electrolyte DSSC, whose longevity was only a few hours despite showing an initial 2.34% power conversion efficiency.