Hexagonal FeS nanosheets with high-energy (001) facets: Counter electrode materials superior to platinum for dye-sensitized solar cells
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 I3–/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 I3– 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 I3–. We believe that our method is a promising way for the design and synthesis of advanced CE materials for energy harvesting.
KeywordsFeS nanosheets high-energy facets counter electrode first-principles calculation catalytic reduction
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