Efficient dye-sensitized solar cells from polyaniline–single wall carbon nanotube complex counter electrodes
Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is a promising solution to global energy and environmental problems because of its clean energy, low cost, high efficiency, good durability, and easy fabrication. However, the commercial application of DSSCs has been hindered by limited power conversion efficiency. With an aim of significantly enhancing the light-to-electric conversion efficiency, here we pioneer synthesizing polyaniline–single wall nanotube (PANi–SWCNT) complexes using a reflux technique which are employed as counter electrodes (CEs) for DSSCs. Owing to the facile charge transfer between PANi (N atoms) and SWNT (C atoms) by a covalent bond, electrical conduction, electrocatalysis, and therefore conversion efficiency have been markedly elevated in comparison with that of PANi-only CE. The DSSC employing PANi–4‰ SWCNT complex CE gives an impressive power conversion efficiency of 7.81%. The high conversion efficiency, facile charge-transfer in combination with simple preparation, relatively low cost and scalability demonstrates the potential use of PANi–SWCNT complex in robust DSSCs.