Rational screening low-cost counter electrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells

Yu Hou, Dong Wang, Xiao Hua Yang, Wen Qi Fang, Bo Zhang, Hai Feng Wang, Guan Zhong Lu, P. Hu, Hui Jun Zhao, Hua Gui Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

304 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dye-sensitized solar cells have attracted intense research attention owing to their ease of fabrication, cost-effectiveness and high efficiency in converting solar energy. Noble platinum is generally used as catalytic counter electrode for redox mediators in electrolyte solution. Unfortunately, platinum is expensive and non-sustainable for long-term applications. Therefore, researchers are facing with the challenge of developing low-cost and earth-abundant alternatives. So far, rational screening of non-platinum counter electrodes has been hamstrung by the lack of understanding about the electrocatalytic process of redox mediators on various counter electrodes. Here, using first-principle quantum chemical calculations, we studied the electrocatalytic process of redox mediators and predicted electrocatalytic activity of potential semiconductor counter electrodes. On the basis of theoretical predictions, we successfully used rust (alpha-Fe2O3) as a new counter electrode catalyst, which demonstrates promising electrocatalytic activity towards triiodide reduction at a rate comparable to platinum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1583
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalNature Communications
Volume4
Issue numbernull
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2013

Keywords

  • HETEROGENEOUS CATALYSIS
  • EFFICIENCY
  • PERFORMANCE
  • ALPHA-FE2O3
  • POTENTIALS
  • OXIDATION
  • PT(111)
  • FILMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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