Roll-to-roll manufacturing of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) requires efficient and low cost materials that adhere well on the flexible substrates used. In this regard, different low temperature carbon composite counter electrode (CE) catalyst ink formulations for flexible DSSCs were developed that can be simply and quickly coated on plastic substrates and dried below 150 degrees C. The CEs were investigated in terms of photovoltaic performance in DSSCs by current-voltage measurements, mechanical adhesion properties by bending and tape tests, electro-catalytic performance by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and microstructure by electron microscopy. In the bending and tape tests, PEDOT-carbon composite catalyst layers exhibited higher elasticity and better adhesion on all the studied substrates (ITO-PET and ITO-PEN plastic, and FTO-glass), compared to a binder free carbon composite and a TiO2 binder enriched carbon composite, and showed lower charge transfer resistance (1.5-3 Omega cm(2)) than the traditional thermally platinized CE (5 Omega cm(2)), demonstrating better catalytic performance for the tri-iodide reduction reaction. Also the TiO2 binder enriched carbon composite showed good catalytic characteristics and relatively good adhesion on ITO-PET, but on ITO-PEN its adhesion was poor. A DSSC with the TiO2 binder enriched catalyst layer reached 85% of the solar energy conversion efficiency of the reference DSSC based on the traditional thermally platinized CE. Based on the aforementioned characteristics, these carbon composites are promising candidates for replacing the platinum catalyst in a high volume roll-to-roll manufacturing process of DSSCs.
- COUNTER ELECTRODES