Solar Energy, Vol.107, 660-667, 2014
Multiwalled carbon nanotube thin films prepared by aerosol deposition process for use as highly efficient Pt-free counter electrodes of dye-sensitized solar cells
In this study, transparent and catalytic multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) thin films with controlled thickness were fabricated using a simple and conventional multiple nozzle-based aerosol deposition process (ADP). MWCNTs were homogeneously dispersed in deionized water via surfactant treatment, and the MWCNT-dispersed aqueous solution was then aerosolized and deposited on fluorine-doped tin oxide glass substrates to form MWCNT thin films. The characteristics of MWCNTs, degree of MWCNT dispersion stability in the aqueous solution, and morphology and light transmittance of the prepared MWCNT thin films were systematically examined. Finally, the prepared MWCNT thin films were used as the counter electrodes (CBs) of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). For comparison purposes, the photovoltaic performance of DSSCs composed of MWCNT thin-film CBs was compared to that of reference DSSCs composed of conventional Pt thin-film CBs. The results showed that the power conversion efficiency of DSSCs composed of critical amount of MWCNTs coated on CBs was almost equal or slightly higher than that of conventional Pt-based DSSCs. Thus, it can be concluded that the ADP-assisted precisely controlled accumulation of transparent and catalytic MWCNT thin films on the CEs of DSSCs is a very promising approach for replacing the expensive Pt metal that is currently used in DSSC industries. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.