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In-Situ Growth of CoS Nanoparticles Onto Electrospun Graphitized Carbon Nanofibers as an Efficient Counter Electrode for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

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One-dimensional graphitized carbon nanofibers (G-CNFs) were prepared by employing facile electrospinning technique using 10 wt% of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) solution in N,N-dimethyl formamide (DMF) as precursor followed by successive stabilization, carbonization and purification processes. Cobalt sulfide (CoS) nanoparticles were grown onto G-CNFs by hydrothermal method using cobalt chloride and L-cysteine as precursors. The results of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectroscopy confirmed the phase formation and degree of graphitization, respectively. Field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) images confirmed the morphology, growth and distribution of CoS nanoparticles over G-CNFs (CoS/G-CNFs). The electrochemical studies such as cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance and Tafel polarization revealed that CoS/G-CNFs have lower overpotential, low charge transfer resistance and higher exchange current density for triiodide (I 3 reduction reaction. The superior electrocat- alytic activity of CoS/G-CNFs than std. Pt is due to combined contribution of interconnected pore structure with high surface area of G-CNFs and excellent electrocatalytic activity of CoS. In addition, the dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) based on platinum-free CoS/G-CNFs has exhibited higher photo-conversion efficiency (PCE) under a simulated solar light irradiation of 100 mW cm−2 when compared to standard platinum (std. Pt) which is attributed to the synergistic effect of CoS with G-CNFs.
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Keywords: Cobalt Sulfide; Counter Electrode; Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell; Graphitized Carbon Nanofibers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Electrochemical Energy Research Lab, Centre for Nanoscience and Technology, Pondicherry University, Puducherry 605014, India 2: Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai 400076, India

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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