Abstract: In the present work, the effect of zinc oxide (ZnO) and its nanocomposite on the performance of dye sensitize solar cells (DSSCs) was studied. ZnO is a wide band gap semiconductor that is of interest for applications in a wide variety of optoelectronic devices, including dye-sensitized organic solar cells (DSSCs). Initially ZnO and CuO nanoparticles were synthesized using sol gel method then ZnO-CuO nanocomposite were synthesized and the structural, optical, characterization were done using various techniques such as XRD, FT-IR,UV-Vis, SEM. The band gap of ZnO was calculated using Debye Schererís equation. The prepared nanoparticles and nanocomposites were pasted on FTO glass using doctor blading technique and used as working electrodes in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs).These working electrodes were sensitized with N719 dye and coupled with platinum coated cathode. The J-V characteristics of the DSSCs were studied under standard conditions and their photovoltaic performance was compared. Improved performance of ZnO-CuO nanocomposite DSSCs were observed as compared to ZnO DSSC due to reduced band gap, increased crystallite size and reduced charge recombination.

Keywords: DSSC, ZnO, Photovoltaic, CuO.