Deposition of the nanosize copper encapsulated carbon (Cu@C) thin film onto the cathode has been studied to enhance efficiency of the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). The X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns of the Cu@C are suggestive of existence of metallic copper (Cu) nanoparticles in the thin film. The UV-visible spectrum of the Cu@C coated on indium-doped tin oxide (ITO) shows a red shift (probably due to the longitudinal resonance) as the size of Cu in the Cu@C increases. Moreover, the images observed by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) indicate that the Cu@C nanoparticles are well dispersed on ITO. By extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy, a decrease of the coordination number (CN) of Cu-Cu with decreasing sizes of Cu in the Cu@C is observed. Interestingly, an enhanced efficiency of the DSSC with the Cu@C nanoparticles coated ITO cathode by 50% is found if compared with the relatively expensive Pt electrode. As the size of Cu in the Cu@C on ITO decreases (e.g., 20 → 7 nm), the efficiency of the DSSC can be increased by 80% approximately.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics