Composite films of carbon black nanoparticles and sulfonated-polythiophene as flexible counter electrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells

Chun Ting Li, Chi Ta Lee, Sie Rong Li, Chuan Pei Lee, I. Ting Chiu, R. Vittal, Nae Lih Wu*, Shih Sheng Sun, Kuo Chuan Ho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A composite film based on carbon black nanoparticles and sulfonated-poly(thiophene-3-[2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethoxy]-2,5-diyl) (CB-NPs/s-PT) is formed on a flexible titanium foil for the use as the electro-catalytic counter electrode (CE) of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The CB-NPs provide the large amount of electro-catalytic active sites for the composite film, and the s-PT polymer serves as a conductive binder to enhance the inter-particle linkage among CB-NPs and to improve the adhesion between the composite film and the flexible substrate. The flexible CB-NPs/s-PT composite film is designed to possess good electro-catalytic ability for I-/I3- redox couple by providing large active sites and rapid reduction kinetic rate constant of I3-. The cell with a CB-NPs/s-PT CE exhibits a good cell efficiency (η) of 9.02 ± 0.01% at 100 mW cm-2, while the cell with a platinum CE shows an η of only 8.36 ± 0.02% under the same conditions. At weak light illuminations (20-80 mW cm-2), a DSSC with CB-NPs/s-PT CE still exhibits η's of 7.20 ± 0.04-9.08 ± 0.02%. The low-cost CB-NPs/s-PT CE not only renders high cell efficiency to its DSSC but also shows a great potential to replace the expensive platinum; moreover it is suitable for large-scale production or for indoor applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume302
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 20
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Carbon black
  • Counter electrode
  • Dye-sensitized solar cells
  • Flexible
  • Sulfonated-polythiophene
  • Titanium foil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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