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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2011 Mar;3(3):857-62. doi: 10.1021/am101204f. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

Sub-micrometer-sized graphite as a conducting and catalytic counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells.

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  • 1System on Chip Chemical Process Research Center, Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Pohang, 790-784, Korea.


Sub-micrometer-sized colloidal graphite (CG) was tested as a conducting electrode to replace transparent conducting oxide (TCO) electrodes and as a catalytic material to replace platinum (Pt) for I(3)(-) reduction in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). CG paste was used to make a film via the doctor-blade process. The 9 μm thick CG film showed a lower resistivity (7 Ω/◻) than the widely used fluorine-doped tin oxide TCO (8-15 Ω/◻). The catalytic activity of this graphite film was measured and compared with the corresponding properties of Pt. Cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy studies clearly showed a decrease in the charge transfer resistance with the increase in the thickness of the graphite layer from 3 to 9 μm. Under 1 sun illumination (100 mW cm(-2), AM 1.5), DSSCs with submicrometer-sized graphite as a catalyst on fluorine-doped tin oxide TCO showed an energy conversion efficiency greater than 6.0%, comparable to the conversion efficiency of Pt. DSSCs with a graphite counter electrode (CE) on TCO-free bare glass showed an energy conversion efficiency greater than 5.0%, which demonstrated that the graphite layer could be used both as a conducting layer and as a catalytic layer.

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