Solar Energy, Vol.167, 95-101, 2018
Electrocatalytic porous nanocomposite of graphite nanoplatelets anchored with exfoliated activated carbon filler as counter electrode for dye sensitized solar cells
A unique graphite nanoplatelet (GnP) composite synthesized with a synchronized distribution of exfoliated activated carbon (AC) filler is proposed for promising Pt-free dye sensitized solar cells. The defect rich morphology of the exfoliated activated carbon filler is designed with graphite nanoplatelets to enhance its electrocatalytic activity and electron pathways, and for this purpose different percentages of AC fillers were incorporated into the GnP matrix. The proposed GnP/AC composite shows a more defect-rich morphology synchronized with high electronic conductivity which greatly enhances the electrocatalytic activity and electron transfer mobility (R-CT of 2.19 Omega). A DSSC fabricated with the proposed GnP/AC composite exhibited a high conversion efficiency rate of 8.478%, similar to that of the Pt electrocatalyst. The high catalytic activity of GnP/AC is attributed to the synergistic effect of the high electron affinity of GnP and the structural distortion caused by the AC filler material. This high-performance catalyst can be a promising material for efficient energy storage and harvesting applications.