Microemulsion-controlled synthesis of CoSe2/CoSeO3 composite crystals for electrocatalysis in dye-sensitized solar cells

Yi June Huang, Chuan Pei Lee, Hao Wei Pang, Chun Ting Li, Miao Syuan Fan, R. Vittal, Kuo Chuan Ho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Cobalt diselenide/cobalt selenite (CoSe2/CoSeO3) composite crystals with nanocube (NC), nanorod (NR), and nanoparticle (NP) structures were obtained through a microemulsion-assisted hydrothermal synthesis by incorporating the anionic surfactant docusate sodium salt (AOT), the cationic surfactant cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB), and the non-ionic surfactant Triton® X-100, respectively. The as-prepared CoSe2/CoSeO3 crystals were utilized as the electrocatalysts in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Among all the crystals, the one obtained through Triton® X-100 enables its DSSC to achieve the best power conversion efficiency (η) of 9.27%, which is even better than that of the DSSC with platinum (Pt) (7.91%). The catalytic abilities of the counter electrodes were analyzed by cyclic voltammetry (CV), Tafel polarization plots, and electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS). The photovoltaic behaviors are substantiated by incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiency (IPCE) spectra. The DSSC with CoSe2/CoSeO3-NP exhibited an η of 9.27% at 100 mW cm−2, a better η of 9.31% at 50 mW cm−2, and the best η of 9.41% at 10 mW cm−2, thereby extending the scope of application of this DSSC from outdoor to indoor regions. The earth abundant, low-cost material of CoSe2/CoSeO3-NP can be a promising electrocatalytic material to replace the expensive Pt in a DSSC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Today Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Dim light photovoltaics
  • Dye-sensitized solar cells
  • Microemulsion
  • Pt-free counter electrode
  • Transition metal dichalcogenides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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