Multiwalled carbon nanotube coated polyester fabric as textile based flexible counter electrode for dye sensitized solar cell
Textile wearable electronics offers the combined advantages of both electronics and textile characteristics. The essential properties of these flexible electronics such as lightweight, stretchable, and wearable power sources are in strong demand. Here, we have developed a facile route to fabricate multi walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) coated polyester fabric as a flexible counter electrode (CE) for dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). A variety of MWCNT and enzymes with different structures were used to generate individual enzyme-dispersed MWCNT (E-MWCNT) suspensions by non-covalent functionalization. A highly concentrated colloidal suspension of E-MWCNT was deposited on polyester fabric via a simple tape casting method using an air drying technique. In view of the E-MWCNT coating, the surface structure is represented by topologically randomly assembled tubular graphene units. This surface morphology has a high density of colloidal edge states and oxygen-containing surface groups which execute multiple catalytic sites for iodide reduction. A highly conductive E-MWCNT coated fabric electrode with a surface resistance of 15 Ω sq−1 demonstrated 5.69% power conversion efficiency (PCE) when used as a flexible CE for DSSCs. High photo voltaic performance of our suggested system of E-MWCNT fabric-based DSSCs is associated with high sheet conductivity, low charge transfer resistance (RCT), and excellent electro catalytic activity (ECA). Such a conductive fabric demonstrated stable conductivity against bending cycles and strong mechanical adhesion of E-MWCNT on polyester fabric. Moreover, the polyester fabric is hydrophobic and, therefore, has good sealing capacity and retains the polymer gel electrolyte without seepage. This facile E-MWCNT fabric CE configuration provides a concrete fundamental background towards the development of textile-integrated solar cells.