Nano Research

, Volume 9, Issue 10, pp 2862–2874 | Cite as

Hexagonal FeS nanosheets with high-energy (001) facets: Counter electrode materials superior to platinum for dye-sensitized solar cells

  • Xiuwen Wang
  • Ying Xie
  • Buhe Bateer
  • Kai Pan
  • Yangtao Zhou
  • Yi Zhang
  • Guofeng Wang
  • Wei Zhou
  • Honggang Fu
Research Article


The catalytic activity of materials is highly dependent on their composition and surface structure, especially the density of low-coordinated surface atoms. In this work, we have prepared two-dimensional hexagonal FeS with high-energy (001) facets (FeS-HE-001) via a solution-phase chemical method. Nanosheets (NSs) with exposed high-energy planes usually possess better reaction activity, so FeS-HE-001 was used as a counter electrode (CE) material for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). FeS-HE-001 achieved an average power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 8.88% (with the PCE of champion cells being 9.10%), which was almost 1.15 times higher than that of the Pt-based DSSCs (7.73%) measured in parallel. Cyclic voltammetry and Tafel polarization measurements revealed the excellent electrocatalytic activities of FeS-HE-001 towards the I 3 /I redox reaction. This can be attributed to the promotion of photoelectron transfer, which was measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and scanning Kelvin probe, and the strong I 3 adsorption and reduction activities, which were investigated using first-principles calculations. The presence of high-energy (001) facets in the NSs was an important factor for improving the catalytic reduction of I 3 . We believe that our method is a promising way for the design and synthesis of advanced CE materials for energy harvesting.


FeS nanosheets high-energy facets counter electrode first-principles calculation catalytic reduction 


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Hexagonal FeS nanosheets with high-energy (001) facets: Counter electrode materials superior to platinum for dye-sensitized solar cells


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiuwen Wang
    • 1
  • Ying Xie
    • 1
  • Buhe Bateer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kai Pan
    • 1
  • Yangtao Zhou
    • 1
  • Yi Zhang
    • 1
  • Guofeng Wang
    • 1
  • Wei Zhou
    • 1
  • Honggang Fu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Functional Inorganic Material Chemistry, Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of ChinaHeilongjiang UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.College of Materials and Chemical EngineeringHeilongjiang Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina

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