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Development of electrospun PAN/CoS nanocomposite membrane electrolyte for high-performance DSSC

  • Vignesh Murugadoss
  • Subasri Arunachalam
  • Vijayakumar Elayappan
  • Subramania Angaiah
Original Paper


In the present work, we prepared electrospun polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/ cobalt sulfide (CoS) nanocomposite membranes by encapsulating different weight percentage (1, 2, and 3 wt%) of CoS nanoparticles in PAN nanofibers for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The electrospun PAN/CoS nanocomposite membranes (esCPMs) were activated by immersing in an ionic liquid electrolyte containing 0.5 M LiI, 0.05 M I2, 0.5 M 4-tert butylpyridine and 0.5 M 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium iodide in acetonitrile to obtain their corresponding nanocomposite membrane electrolytes (esCPMEs). The influences of CoS content on the physical and electrochemical properties of esPM were investigated. The addition of CoS nanoparticles reduced the degree of partial crystallinity of esPM to an amorphous state. An electrochemical impedance and Tafel polarization measurements revealed that the esCPME has high electrocatalytic activity with enhanced ionic conductivity. The 2 wt% CoS encapsulated esCPME ensured the effective charge transfer at the electrode/electrolyte interface with the lower electron recombination rate in DSSC, which ultimately increased the photoconversion efficiency (7.41%) at an incident light intensity of 100 mW cm−2.

Graphical Abstract

Polymer Membrane Electrolyte: The influence of CoS content on the physical and electrochemical properties of electrospun PAN membrane electrolyte is studied. The ion transport mechanism of DSSC fabricated with different wt% of CoS embedded esCPMEs is also studied. Among them, 2wt% of CoS embedded esCPME has improved photovoltaic performance of DSSC.


Electrospinning Polyacrylonitrile Cobalt sulfide Polymer membrane electrolyte Photovoltaic performance 



Mr. MV is grateful to the Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi for providing Fellowship under DST-Inspire Award (IF160290).


The authors gratefully acknowledge the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi for their financial support (Ref. No. 01/2810/14/EMR-II, dt. 24/11/2014).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vignesh Murugadoss
    • 1
  • Subasri Arunachalam
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vijayakumar Elayappan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Subramania Angaiah
    • 1
  1. 1.Electrochemical Energy Research Lab, Centre for Nanoscience and TechnologyPondicherry UniversityPuducherryIndia
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryKalasalingam UniversityKrishnankovilIndia
  3. 3.School of Chemical EngineeringYeungnam UniversityGyeongsanRepublic of Korea

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