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Nanoporous TiO2/SnO2/Poly(3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene): Polystyrenesulfonate Composites as Efficient Counter Electrode for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

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A nanoporous composite film combined of conducting inorganic template (TiO2/SnO2) and conducting polymer catalyst (poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate, PEDOT:PSS) was developed as an alternative counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) through lowtemperature process. The TiO2/SnO2 template was first fabricated by coating a homogeneous TiO2 nanoparticles blended paste containing a SnCl4 aqueous solution on the conductive substrate, followed by annealing at 150 °C. The counter electrode was then completed by spincoating the PEDOT:PSS aqueous solution into the template and drying at 80 °C. The obtained TiO2/SnO2/PEDOT:PSS (TSP) composite film exhibits more excellent catalytic activity for the triiodide reduction than the pristine PEDOT:PSS film, resulting in the significant improvements in the fill factor and efficiency of the cells. The values of the fill factor and efficiency respectively increase from 0.564 and 4.79% to 0.699 and 6.54%. Noted that the photovoltaic performances of the TSP based DSSC is very similar to those of the Pt based one. The fill factor and efficiency of the later are 0.696 and 6.48%, respectively. The outstanding properties of the TSP composite film used as the counter electrode can be ascribed to its prominent synergistic effects. In the TSP composite film, the conducting TiO2 is applied as the main skeleton material with the in-situ formed SnO2 as a binder to construct a nanoporous structure for the PEDOT:PSS coating and also to provide numerous high-speed conductive paths for the electron transportation from the substrate to the PEDOT:PSS coating, and the PEDOT:PSS adhered on the TiO2/SnO2 skeleton mainly acts as the catalyst to enlarge its surface area allowing for more active sites for the tri-iodide reduction.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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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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