Highly electrocatalytic carbon black/copper sulfide composite counter electrodes fabricated by a facile method for quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

A facile and cost-effective method is proposed herein to fabricate highly electrocatalytic carbon black/copper sulfide (CB/CuXS) composite counter electrodes for quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). In brief, mesoporous CB thin films and copper salts are first deposited on FTO substrates by a spin-coating process; a sulfidation treatment is then conducted to facilitate accumulations of CuXS catalysts in the mesoporous structure. Experimental results illustrate that during the sulfidation, an ion exchange reaction and a reduction of Cu(ii) to Cu(i) take place simultaneously, and that the obtained CuXS catalyst possesses a nonstoichiometric phase. The electrochemical properties of the resultant composite films are carefully investigated. The results show that the electrocatalytic activity of the CB/CuXS films related to the polysulfide redox reaction is much superior to that of common platinum. Compared to a solar cell equipped with a solution-processed CuS counter electrode, the QDSSC using a composite film prepared only by a single spin-coating displays similar photovoltaic performance. Furthermore, increasing the coating times can lead to improvements both in the electrocatalytic activity of the CB/CuXS films and in the cell performance of the relevant QDSSCs. When CdS/CdSe sensitizers are employed, the QDSSC using a CB/CuXS counter electrode fabricated with three coating times demonstrates a conversion efficiency of 5.62% under 1 sun irradiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23146-23157
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Volume5
Issue number44
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

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Soot
Sulfides
Carbon black
Semiconductor quantum dots
Copper
Solar cells
Electrodes
Composite materials
Spin coating
Composite films
Polysulfides
Coatings
Catalysts
Redox reactions
Platinum
Electrochemical properties
Sun
Conversion efficiency
Ion exchange
Salts

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this

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title = "Highly electrocatalytic carbon black/copper sulfide composite counter electrodes fabricated by a facile method for quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells",
abstract = "A facile and cost-effective method is proposed herein to fabricate highly electrocatalytic carbon black/copper sulfide (CB/CuXS) composite counter electrodes for quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). In brief, mesoporous CB thin films and copper salts are first deposited on FTO substrates by a spin-coating process; a sulfidation treatment is then conducted to facilitate accumulations of CuXS catalysts in the mesoporous structure. Experimental results illustrate that during the sulfidation, an ion exchange reaction and a reduction of Cu(ii) to Cu(i) take place simultaneously, and that the obtained CuXS catalyst possesses a nonstoichiometric phase. The electrochemical properties of the resultant composite films are carefully investigated. The results show that the electrocatalytic activity of the CB/CuXS films related to the polysulfide redox reaction is much superior to that of common platinum. Compared to a solar cell equipped with a solution-processed CuS counter electrode, the QDSSC using a composite film prepared only by a single spin-coating displays similar photovoltaic performance. Furthermore, increasing the coating times can lead to improvements both in the electrocatalytic activity of the CB/CuXS films and in the cell performance of the relevant QDSSCs. When CdS/CdSe sensitizers are employed, the QDSSC using a CB/CuXS counter electrode fabricated with three coating times demonstrates a conversion efficiency of 5.62{\%} under 1 sun irradiation.",
author = "Liu, {I. Ping} and Hsisheng Teng and Lee, {Yuh Lang}",
year = "2017",
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Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - A facile and cost-effective method is proposed herein to fabricate highly electrocatalytic carbon black/copper sulfide (CB/CuXS) composite counter electrodes for quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). In brief, mesoporous CB thin films and copper salts are first deposited on FTO substrates by a spin-coating process; a sulfidation treatment is then conducted to facilitate accumulations of CuXS catalysts in the mesoporous structure. Experimental results illustrate that during the sulfidation, an ion exchange reaction and a reduction of Cu(ii) to Cu(i) take place simultaneously, and that the obtained CuXS catalyst possesses a nonstoichiometric phase. The electrochemical properties of the resultant composite films are carefully investigated. The results show that the electrocatalytic activity of the CB/CuXS films related to the polysulfide redox reaction is much superior to that of common platinum. Compared to a solar cell equipped with a solution-processed CuS counter electrode, the QDSSC using a composite film prepared only by a single spin-coating displays similar photovoltaic performance. Furthermore, increasing the coating times can lead to improvements both in the electrocatalytic activity of the CB/CuXS films and in the cell performance of the relevant QDSSCs. When CdS/CdSe sensitizers are employed, the QDSSC using a CB/CuXS counter electrode fabricated with three coating times demonstrates a conversion efficiency of 5.62% under 1 sun irradiation.

AB - A facile and cost-effective method is proposed herein to fabricate highly electrocatalytic carbon black/copper sulfide (CB/CuXS) composite counter electrodes for quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). In brief, mesoporous CB thin films and copper salts are first deposited on FTO substrates by a spin-coating process; a sulfidation treatment is then conducted to facilitate accumulations of CuXS catalysts in the mesoporous structure. Experimental results illustrate that during the sulfidation, an ion exchange reaction and a reduction of Cu(ii) to Cu(i) take place simultaneously, and that the obtained CuXS catalyst possesses a nonstoichiometric phase. The electrochemical properties of the resultant composite films are carefully investigated. The results show that the electrocatalytic activity of the CB/CuXS films related to the polysulfide redox reaction is much superior to that of common platinum. Compared to a solar cell equipped with a solution-processed CuS counter electrode, the QDSSC using a composite film prepared only by a single spin-coating displays similar photovoltaic performance. Furthermore, increasing the coating times can lead to improvements both in the electrocatalytic activity of the CB/CuXS films and in the cell performance of the relevant QDSSCs. When CdS/CdSe sensitizers are employed, the QDSSC using a CB/CuXS counter electrode fabricated with three coating times demonstrates a conversion efficiency of 5.62% under 1 sun irradiation.

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