A low-cost nanopatterned highly conductive poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) thin film was fabricated on a flexible plastic substrate via a chemical polymerization method combined with a nanoimprinting technique and used as a platinum (Pt), TCO-free counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The catalytic properties of the nanopatterned PEDOT as the counter electrode in DSSCs were studied using cyclic voltammetry, J–V measurements, impedance spectroscopy, and finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations. The nanopatterned PEDOT counter electrodes exhibit better functionality as a counter electrode for tri-iodide reduction when compared to non-patterned PEDOT-based counter electrodes. The Pt and TCO-free DSSCs with a nanopatterned PEDOT-based counter electrode exhibited a power conversion efficiency of 7.1% under one sunlight illumination (100 mW cm−2), which is comparable to that of conventional DSSCs with standard platinum Pt/FTO paired counter electrodes. The ability to modulate catalytic functionality with changes in nanoscale morphology represents a promising route for developing new counter electrodes of Pt and TCO-free DSSCs.
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