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Double-walled heterostructured Cu2−xSe/Cu7S4 nanoboxes with enhanced electrocatalytic activity for quantum dot sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

It is of great importance to develop counter electrodes (CEs) as an alternative for enhancing the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of quantum dot sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). Here, single-walled Cu7S4 nanoboxes (SW-Cu7S4-NBs) and double-walled heterostructured Cu2−xSe/Cu7S4 nanoboxes (DW-Cu2−xSe/Cu7S4-HNBs) are synthesized by a facile in situ inward etching/sacrificial template method based on the Kirkendall effect. A remarkably enhanced and stable electrocatalytic activity is achieved for the QDSSC based on the DW-Cu2−xSe/Cu7S4-HNB CE, which is inclusively derived from the high intrinsic electron conductivity of Cu2−xSe, the stimulated electron transfer process and abundant active catalytic sites due to the enlarged specific surface area, higher utilization efficiency of incident light of the unique double-walled hollow structure, and the formation of a heterogeneous nanostructure. As a result, the QDSSC based on the DW-Cu2−xSe/Cu7S4-HNB CE exhibits a PCE of 4.38% under 1 sun (100 mW cm−2) irradiation, while 3.97%, 3.43% and 1.54% were found for SW-Cu7S4-NB, Pt and brass/Cu2S based CEs, respectively. Furthermore, it is suggested that the DW-Cu2−xSe/Cu7S4-HNB CE still shows superior long-term stability towards the polysulfide electrolyte even after 600 cycles.

Graphical abstract: Double-walled heterostructured Cu2−xSe/Cu7S4 nanoboxes with enhanced electrocatalytic activity for quantum dot sensitized solar cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Jun 2017, accepted on 31 Jul 2017 and first published on 31 Jul 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CE01112A
Citation: CrystEngComm, 2017, Advance Article
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    Double-walled heterostructured Cu2−xSe/Cu7S4 nanoboxes with enhanced electrocatalytic activity for quantum dot sensitized solar cells

    L. Ran and L. Yin, CrystEngComm, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7CE01112A

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