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Carbon nanotube aerogel–CoS2 hybrid catalytic counter electrodes for enhanced photovoltaic performance dye-sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

The carbon nanotube aerogel (CNA) with an ultra-low density, three-dimensional network nanostructure, superior electronic conductivity and large surface area is being widely employed as a catalytic electrode and catalytic support. Impressively, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) assembled with a CNA counter electrode (CE) achieved a maximum power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 8.28%, which exceeded that of the conventional platinum (Pt)-based DSSC (7.20%) under the same conditions. Furthermore, highly dispersed CoS2 nanoparticles endowed with excellent intrinsic catalytic activity were hydrothermally incorporated to form a CNA-supported CoS2 (CNA–CoS2) CE, which was due to the large number of catalytically active sites and sufficient connections between CoS2 and the CNA. The electrocatalytic ability and stability were systematically evaluated by cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) and Tafel polarization, which confirmed that the resultant CNA–CoS2 hybrid CE exhibited a remarkably higher electrocatalytic activity toward I3 reduction, and faster ion diffusion and electron transfer than the pure CNA CE. Such cost-effective DSSCs assembled with an optimized CNA–CoS2 CE yielded an enhanced PCE of 8.92%, comparable to that of the cell fabricated with the CNA–Pt hybrid CE reported in our published literature (9.04%). These results indicate that the CNA–CoS2 CE can be considered as a promising candidate for Pt-free CEs used in low-cost and high-performance DSSCs.

Graphical abstract: Carbon nanotube aerogel–CoS2 hybrid catalytic counter electrodes for enhanced photovoltaic performance dye-sensitized solar cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Dec 2017, accepted on 15 Jan 2018 and first published on 16 Jan 2018


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09260A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article
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    Carbon nanotube aerogel–CoS2 hybrid catalytic counter electrodes for enhanced photovoltaic performance dye-sensitized solar cells

    T. Liu, X. Mai, H. Chen, J. Ren, Z. Liu, Y. Li, L. Gao, N. Wang, J. Zhang, H. He and Z. Guo, Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09260A

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