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Highly Electrocatalytic Carbon Black/Copper Sulfide Composite Counter Electrodes Fabricated by a Facile Method for Quantum-Dot-Sensitized Solar Cells

Abstract

A facile and cost-effective method is proposed herein to fabricate highly electrocatalytic carbon black/copper sulfide (CB/CuXS) composite counter electrodes for quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). In brief, mesoporous CB thin films and copper salts are first deposited on FTO substrates by a spin-coating process; a sulfidation treatment is then conducted to render accumulations of CuXS catalysts in the mesoporous structure. The experimental results illustrate that during the sulfidation, an ionic exchange reaction and a reduction of Cu(II) to Cu(I) take place simultaneously, and that the obtained CuXS catalyst possesses a nonstoichiometric phase. The electrochemical properties of the resultant composite films are carefully investigated. It shows that the electrocatalytic activity of the CB/CuXS films related to the polysulfide redox reaction is much superior to that of common platinum. Compared to a solar cell equipped with a solution-processed CuS counter electrode, the QDSSC using a composite film prepared only by a single spin-coating displays similar photovoltaic performance. Furthermore, increasing the coating times can lead to improvements both in the electrocatalytic activity of the CB/CuXS films and in the cell performance of the relevant QDSSCs. When CdS/CdSe sensitizers are employed, the QDSSC using a CB/CuXS counter electrode fabricated by three coating times demonstrates a conversion efficiency of 5.62% under 1 sun irradiation.

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Jul 2017, accepted on 11 Oct 2017 and first published on 11 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA06023H
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Highly Electrocatalytic Carbon Black/Copper Sulfide Composite Counter Electrodes Fabricated by a Facile Method for Quantum-Dot-Sensitized Solar Cells

    I. Liu, H. Teng and Y. Lee, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA06023H

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