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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013 Feb;5(3):479-84. doi: 10.1021/am302522c. Epub 2013 Jan 14.

Highly electrocatalytic Cu₂ZnSn(S₁-xSex)₄ counter electrodes for quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells.


Traditional Pt counter electrode in quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells suffers from a low electrocatalytic activity and instability due to irreversible surface adsorption of sulfur species incurred while regenerating polysulfide (S(n)(2-)/S(2-)) electrolytes. To overcome such constraints, chemically synthesized Cu(2)ZnSn(S(1-x)Se(x))(4) nanocrystals were evaluated as an alternative to Pt. The resulting chalcogenides exhibited remarkable electrocatalytic activities for reduction of polysulfide (S(n)(2-)) to sulfide (S(2-)), which were dictated by the ratios of S/Se. In this study, a quantum dot sensitized solar cell constructed with Cu(2)ZnSn(S(0.5)Se(0.5))(4) as a counter electrode showed the highest energy conversion efficiency of 3.01%, which was even higher than that using Pt (1.24%). The compositional variations in between Cu(2)ZnSnS(4) (x = 0) and Cu(2)ZnSnSe(4) (x = 1) revealed that the solar cell performances were closely related to a difference in electrocatalytic activities for polysulfide reduction governed by the S/Se ratios.

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