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Issue 31, 2015
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Highly crystalline, small sized, monodisperse α-NiS nanocrystal ink as an efficient counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

We report the synthesis of highly crystalline, small sized, α-NiS nanocrystal inks for the fabrication of a counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells. Monodisperse α-NiS nanocrystals (about 7 nm) are obtained via a noninjection, solution-phase chemical synthesis method. During the growth process of α-NiS nanocrystals, the Ni–oleate complex, which is generated in situ from the reaction of nickel chloride and sodium oleate, is decomposed and acts effectively as a growth source in synthesizing monodisperse nanocrystals. By controlling the reaction temperature, the resultant nanocrystal sizes and crystallinity can be well tuned. Compared to conventionally obtained NiS bulk materials, monodisperse α-NiS nanocrystals possess abundant catalytic reaction sites for dye-sensitized solar cells due to their small particle size and high crystallinity. First-principles calculations have been employed for the first time to investigate the adsorption energy of I3 molecules on the (111) surface of α-NiS with equilibrium shape. DSSCs based on monodisperse α-NiS nanocrystal ink with higher crystallinity display a power conversion efficiency of 7.33%, which is comparable to that based on the Pt cathode (7.53%), but significantly higher than that based on the bulk NiS (4.64%) and relatively low-crystalline α-NiS nanocrystals (6.32%). It can be attributed to more reaction catalytic sites due to the surface effect of small α-NiS nanocrystals, and the highest work function level (5.5 eV) that matched the redox shuttle potential. We believe that our method paves a promising way to design and synthesize advanced counter electrode materials for energy harvesting.

Graphical abstract: Highly crystalline, small sized, monodisperse α-NiS nanocrystal ink as an efficient counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 apr. 2015, accepted on 19 jún. 2015 and first published on 23 jún. 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5TA02946E
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015,3, 15905-15912
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    Highly crystalline, small sized, monodisperse α-NiS nanocrystal ink as an efficient counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells

    X. Wang, B. Batter, Y. Xie, K. Pan, Y. Liao, C. Lv, M. Li, S. Sui and H. Fu, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015, 3, 15905
    DOI: 10.1039/C5TA02946E

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