Ionics

pp 1–7 | Cite as

Synthesis and performance of La2O3@MWCNT composite materials as Pt-free counter electrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells

  • Kezhong Wu
  • Jiajing Zhao
  • Yuanyuan Xiong
  • Bei Ruan
  • Mingxing Wu
Original Paper
  • 9 Downloads

Abstract

Pt-free composite counter electrode (CE) composed of La2O3 was successfully synthesized by a simple pyrolysis of Lanthanum acetate hydrate (La(CH3COO)3·xH2O) in a high-temperature solid phase. Furthermore, three proportion composite catalysts of La2O3@MWCNTs based on La2O3 and multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were prepared and characterized as Pt-free catalysts for CE in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The morphology and structure of La2O3@MWCNT composites were determined by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The electrochemical performance of La2O3@MWCNT composite catalysts for CEs was determined by photocurrent-voltage measurements, cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and Tafel polarization. The experimental results showed that the power conversion efficiencies of 5.20, 5.12, and 4.70% were obtained for La2O3: MWCNTs with mass ratios of 5:1, 3:1, and 1:1 as counter electrode towards the reduction of I3/I ions respectively in the encapsulation of DSSC batteries, which were higher than that of MWCNTs (3.94%) and La2O3 (0.77%) electrode under the similar conditions. The enhanced electrode performance was attributed to relatively larger surface area and higher conductivity of La2O3@MWCNT composite catalysts.

Keywords

Dye-sensitized solar cell Counter electrode Lanthanum oxide Composite material Power conversion efficiency 

References

  1. 1.
    Armstrong G (2011) Dye-sensitized solar cells: improving efficiency. Nat Chem 4(1):4–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hagfeldt A, Boschloo G, Sun L, Kloo L, Pettersson H (2010) Dye-sensitized solar cells. Chem Rev 110(11):6595–6663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Goncalves LM, Bermudez VDZ, Ribeiro HA, Mendes AM (2008) Dye-sensitized solar cells: a safe bet for the future. Energy Environ Sci 1(6):655–667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    O’Regan B, Grätzel M (1991) A low cost high efficiency solar cell based on dye sensitized colloidal TiO2 films. Nature 353(6346):737–740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Salam Z, Elayappan V, Angaiah S, Sivasankar N, Mallick S (2015) Graphene quantum dots decorated electrospun TiO2 nanofibers as an effective photoanode for dye sensitized solar cells. Sol Energ Mater Sol Cells 143:250–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Shahzad N, Risplendi F, Pugliese D, Bianco S, Sacco A, Lamberti A, Gazia R, Tresso E, Cicero G (2013) Comparison of hemi-squaraine sensitized TiO2 and ZnO photoanodes for DSSC applications. J Phys Chem C 117(44):22778–22783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Polkoo SS, Saievar-Iranizad E, Bayatloo E (2015) Fine designing 3-dimensional ZnO nanowalls with TiO2 nanoparticles for DSSC application. Appl Phys A Mater Sci Process 119(4):1269–1276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wu MX, Lin YN, Guo HY, Li WY, Wang YD, Lin X (2015) Design a novel kind of open-ended carbon sphere for a highly effective CE catalyst in dye-sensitized solar cells. Nano Energy 11:540–549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wang L, Gao ZY, Chang JL, Liu X, Wu DP, Xu F, Guo YM, Jiang K (2015) Nitrogen-doped porous carbons as electrode materials for high-performance supercapacitor and dye-sensitized solar cell. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 7(36):20234–20244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hsu YC, Chen GL, Lee RH (2014) Graphene oxide sheet-polyaniline nanocomposite prepared through in-situ polymerization/deposition method for CE of dye-sensitized solar cell. J Polym Res 21(5):440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lowpa S, Pimanpang S, Maiaugree W, Saekow S, Uppachai P, Mitravong S, Amornkitbamrung V (2015) Nanoporous carbon microspheres from carrot juice used as a CE for a dye-sensitized solar cell. Mater Lett 158:115–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Towannang M, Kumlangwan P, Maiaugree W, Ratchaphonsaenwong K, Harnchana V, Jarenboon W, Pimanpang S, Amornkitbamrung V (2015) High efficiency organic-electrolyte DSSC based on hydrothermally deposited titanium carbide-carbon counter electrodes. Electron Mater Lett 11(4):643–649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Park KH, Kim SJ, Gomes R, Bhaumik A (2015) High performance dye-sensitized solar cell by using porous polyaniline nanotubes as CE. Chem Eng J 260:393–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Al-bahrani MR, Xu XB, Ahmad W, Ren XL, Su J, Cheng Z, Gao YH (2014) Highly efficient dye-sensitized solar cell with GNS/MWCNT/PANI as a counter electrode. Mater Res Bull 59(59):272–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tang QW, Liu J, Zhang HH, He BL, Yu LM (2015) Cost-effective counter electrode electrocatalysts from iron@palladium and iron@platinum alloy nanospheres for dye-sensitized solar cells. J Power Sources 297:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tsai CH, Fei PH, Chen CH (2015) Investigation of coral-like Cu2O Nano/ microstructures as counter electrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells. Materials 8(9):5715–5729CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Xia J, Yuan C, Yanagida S (2010) Novel counter electrode V2O5/Al for solid dye-sensitized solar cells. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2(7):2136–2139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wu MX, Guo HY, Lin YN, Wu KZ, Ma TL, Hagfeldt (2015) Synthesis of highly effective vanadium nitride (VN) peas as a counter electrode catalyst in dye-sensitized solar cells. J Phys Chem C 118(24):12625–12631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wu MX, Lin YN, Guo HY, Wu KZ, Lin X (2014) Highly efficient Mo2C nanotubes as a counter electrode catalyst for organic redox shuttles in dye-sensitized solar cells. Chem Commun 50(57):7625–7627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jia JB, Wu JH, Tu YG, Huo JH, Zheng M, Lin JM (2015) Transparent nickel selenide used as counter electrode in high efficient dye-sensitized solar cells. J Alloys Compd 640:29–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Liu J, Tang QW, He BL, Yu LM (2015) Cost-effective, transparent iron selenide nanoporous alloy counter electrode for bifacial dye-sensitized solar cell. J Power Sources 282:79–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Chen SL, Tao J, Shu HB, Tao HJ, Tang YX, Shen YZ, Wang T, Pan L (2017) Efficient electron transfer kuramite Cu3SnS4 nanosheet thin film towards platinum-free cathode in dye-sensitized solar cells. J Power Sources 341:60–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Areerob Y, Cho KY, Oh WC (2018) Strategy to improve photovoltaic performance of DSSC sensitized by using novel nanostructured La dopped TiO2-graphene electrodes. J Mater Sci Mater Electron 29(4):3437–3448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Xiong KW, Li G, Jin C, Jin SW (2016) La0.65Sr0.35MnO3 nanocomposites as an effective counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells. Mater Lett 164:609–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zheng XJ, Deng J, Wang N, Deng DH, Zhang WH, Bao XH, Li C (2014) Podlike N-doped carbon nanotubes encapsulating FeNi alloy nanoparticles: high-performance counter electrode materials for dye-sensitized solar cells. Angew Chem Int Ed 53(27):7023–7027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wu YH, Zhou B, Yang C, Liao SC, Zhang WH, Li C (2016) CuFeS2 colloidal nanocrystals as an efficient electrocatalyst for dye sensitized solar cells. Chem Commun 52(77):11488–11491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Wu YH, Zhou B, Yang C, Zhou X, Zhang WH (2017) Bismuth-based ternary nanowires as efficient electrocatalysts for dye sensitized solar cells. Chem Commun 53(39):5445–5448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Wu MX, Mu L, Wang YD, Lin YN, Guo HY, Ma TL (2013) One-step synthesis of nano-scaled tungsten oxides and carbides for dye-sensitized solar cells as counter electrode catalysts. J Mater Chem A 1(25):7519–7524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wu MX, Lin X, Hagfeldt A, Ma TL (2011) A novel catalyst of WO2 nanorod for the counter electrode of dye-sensitized solar cells. Chem Commun 47(15):4535–4537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Gao CJ, Han QJ, Wu MX (2017) Review on transition metal compounds based counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells. J Energy Chem.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jechem.2017.09.003
  31. 31.
    Hou Y, Chen ZP, Wang D, Zhang B, Yang S, Wang HF, Hu P, Zhao HJ, Yang HG (2014) Solar cells: highly electrocatalytic activity of RuO2 nanocrystals for triiodide reduction in dye-sensitized solar cells. Small 10(3):484–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Zheng M, Huo JH, Tu YG, Wu JH, Hu LH, Dai SY (2015) Flowerlike molybdenum sulfide/multi-walled carbon nanotube hybrid as Pt-free counter electrode used in dye-sensitized solar cells. Electrochim Acta 173:252–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Yue GT, Wang L, Zhang XA, Wu JH, Jiang QW, Zhang WF, Huang ML, Lin JM (2014) Fabrication of high performance multi-walled carbon nanotubes/polypyrrole counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells. Energy 67(4):460–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kezhong Wu
    • 1
  • Jiajing Zhao
    • 1
  • Yuanyuan Xiong
    • 1
  • Bei Ruan
    • 1
  • Mingxing Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Inorganic Nano-materials of Hebei Province, Department of Chemistry and Material ScienceHebei Normal UniversityShijiazhuangPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations