Catalytic, conductive, and transparent platinum nanofiber webs for FTO-free dye-sensitized solar cells

Catalytic, conductive, and transparent platinum nanofiber webs for FTO-free dye-sensitized solar cells
platinum; nanofiber; FTO-free; dye-sensitized solar cells; long-term stability; catalytic transparent electrodes
Issue Date
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
VOL 5, NO 8, 3176-3181
We report a multifunctional platinium nanofiber (PtNF) web that can act as a catalyst layer in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) to simultaneously function as a transparent counter electrode (CE), i.e., without the presence of an indium-doped tin oxide (ITO) or fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) glass. This PtNF web can be easily produced by electrospinning, which is highly cost-effective and suitable for large-area industrial-scale production. Electrospun PtNFs are straight and have a length of a few micrometers, with a common diameter of 40−70 nm. Each nanofiber is composed of compact, crystalline Pt grains and they are well-fused and highly interconnected, which should be helpful to provide an efficient conductive network for free electron transport and a large surface area for electrocatalytic behavior. A PtNF web is served as a counter electrode in DSSC and the photovoltaic performance increases up to a power efficiency of 6.0%. It reaches up to 83% of that in a conventional DSSC using a Pt-coated FTO glass as a counter electrode. Newly designed DSSCs containing PtNF webs display highly stable photoelectric conversion efficiencies, and excellent catalytic, conductive, and transparent properties, as well as long-term stability. Also, while the DSSC function is retained, the fabrication cost is reduced by eliminating the transparent conducting layer on the counter electrode. The presented method of fabricating DSSCs based on a PtNF web can be extended to other electrocatalytic optoelectronic devices that combine superior catalytic activity with high conductivity and transparency.
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