Low Cost and Metal Free Counter Electrode for Dye Sensitzed Solar Cell

Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Prince George's Exhibit Hall D/E (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)


Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs) are currently the leading photovoltaic device among third generation solar cells due to their low production cost, ease of manufacturing and relatively high conversion efficiency. One of the most expensive component of the DSSC is the highly efficient Platinum Counter Electrode (Pt CE) but considerable cost reductions can be achieved by changing it to carbon-based CEs. Therefore, the objective of this research is to study a type of hydrophilic carbon (HC) particle for the first time as a novel CE in DSSCs. The easy synthesis, low cost and reasonable electrocatalytic property of the HC particle may help the DSSC in commercialization by making it more environmental friendly and a less expensive device. In this research, the HC past was prepared and deposited on FTO glass as a CE with different thickness ranging from 1 to 3μm. The effects of the thickness and morphology of a HC CE on the performance of a DSSC were then investigated. The increase in the HC film gradually increase the surface roughness of the electrodes. The HC CE with 2μm thickness showed the highest catalytic activity and the lowest charge transfer resistance among other electrodes. As a result, the highest energy conversion efficiency of approximately 3% was achieved by HC CE with 2 μm thickness compare to the Pt electrode prepared at the same experimental condition, which achieved 3.5%. Thus, HC CE has the potential to replace the rare and expensive Pt CE in DSSC.