Flexible metal-free counter electrode for dye solar cells based on conductive polymer and carbon nanotubes

K. Aitola, M. Borghei, A. Kaskela, E. Kemppainen, A.G. Nasibulin, E.I. Kauppinen, P.D. Lund, V. Ruiz, J. Halme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The counter electrodes (CEs) for flexible dye solar cells (DSCs) are normally prepared by sputtering platinum on indium tin oxide (ITO) plastic substrate. However both ITO and platinum are expensive materials that need to be replaced with cheaper alternatives in large scale production of low-cost DSCs. We fabricated a flexible and completely carbon-based CE for DSCs based on electropolymerized poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) on single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) film on a plain plastic substrate. The DSCs with such a CE had an efficiency of 4.0%, which is similar to the efficiency of the reference DSCs (3.9%) based on conventional sputtered platinum on ITO-plastic CE. The carbon-based electrode was prepared by a simple press-transfer method of SWCNTs from the collection filter used in the gas phase synthesis and by electrochemical deposition of PEDOT on it. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy confirmed that the PEDOT-SWCNT film had the best catalytic performance among the studied CE materials, and the film was also slightly transparent. The results demonstrate a successful combination of the conductive and catalytic properties of SWCNTs and PEDOT, respectively. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Electroanalytical Chemistry
Volume683
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Dye solar cell
  • Carbon nanotube
  • Conductive polymer
  • Plastic
  • Counter electrode
  • Catalytic
  • FILMS
  • TRANSPARENT

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