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Photovoltaic Characteristics of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Counter-Electrode Materials for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Produced by Chemical Treatment and Addition of Dispersant

1
Department of Energy and Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School, Gyeongsang National University, Cheondaegukchi-Gil 38, Tongyeong 53064, Korea
2
Department of Energy and Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Marine Industry, Gyeongsang National University, Cheondaegukchi-Gil 38, Tongyeong 53064, Korea
3
Training Ship Operation Center, College of Marine Science, Gyeongsang National University, Cheondaegukchi-Gil 38, Tongyeong 53064, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2019, 9(4), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9040250
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract

Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) have excellent electrical conductivity and good chemical stability, and are used as counter electrodes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The counter electrodes collect electrons from the external circuit and catalyze the redox reaction in the electrolyte. Electrocatalysis is an important step for generating energy from triiodide reduction in DSSCs. In this study, chemically treated MWCNTs were investigated for improving the photovoltaic performance of DSSCs. The MWCNTs were modified through chemical oxidation with sulfuric acid/nitric acid (H2SO4/HNO3) or potassium persulfate/sodium hydroxide (K2S2O8/NaOH). Nanocellulose (CNC) was used as a dispersant to improve the photovoltaic performance and dispersibility as an alternative material for counter electrodes in DSSCs. The counter electrodes were prepared on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) glass substrates by spin coating nanofluids. Morphological and structural investigations were performed using scanning transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. The electrical conductivity and UV light absorption of the DSSCs were analyzed to evaluate their photovoltaic performance. The results of these analyses showed that chemical functionalization and addition of CNC were effective for increasing the electrical conductivity and UV light absorption. Finally, all result trends were the same. Increasing the dispersibility of the counter electrode was found to improve the reduction of I3 at the interface between the MWCNTs and the electrolyte, thereby, improving the energy conversion efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT); dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC); chemical treatment; nanocellulose dispersion; electrocatalysis multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT); dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC); chemical treatment; nanocellulose dispersion; electrocatalysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kim, S.; Dovjuu, O.; Choi, S.-H.; Jeong, H.; Park, J.-T. Photovoltaic Characteristics of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Counter-Electrode Materials for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Produced by Chemical Treatment and Addition of Dispersant. Coatings 2019, 9, 250.

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