International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.44, No.9, 7630-7644, 2020
Honeycomb-like bio-based carbon framework decorated with ternary tantalum-based compounds as efficient and durable electrocatalysts for triiodide reduction reaction
Finding an inexpensive and effective clean energy electrocatalyst is highly important for the new generation of photovoltaic devices. Herein, we report a facile and universal in situ co-precipitation strategy to load three novel tantalum-based compounds (NiTa2O6, MnTa2O6, and AlTaO4) on honeycomb-like bio-based carbon (HBC) frameworks. The HBC framework with unique honeycomb-like network structure serves as a support material in nanohybrids that can provide rich surface active sites and rapid electron transport channels for triiodide reduction reaction. The adoption of widely available and abundant biomass-derived carbon into tantalum-based compounds markedly boosts electrocatalytic properties of nanohybrids and exhibits robust corrosion resistance because nanohybrids adequately utilize the synergistic effects of different components. The photovoltaic devices fabricated with NiTa2O6/HBC, MnTa2O6/HBC, and AlTaO4/HBC counter electrode catalysts demonstrate the brilliant power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 7.09%, 7.39%, and 7.86%, respectively, outperforming the Pt-based cells (6.80%). This work offers a strategy for the further rational design of efficient, inexpensive, and durable electrocatalysts for advanced energy technology applications.