ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2011 Aug 3;3(8):3157-61. Epub 2011 Aug 3.
Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University, 6100 Main, Houston, Texas 77005, United States.
A novel dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) structure using vertically aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes (VASWCNTs) as the counter electrode has been developed. In this design, the VASWCNTs serve as a stable high surface area and highly active electrocatalytic counter-electrode that could be a promising alternative to the conventional Pt analogue. Utilizing a scalable dry transfer approach to form a VASWCNTs conductive electrode, the DSSCs with various lengths of VASWCNTs were studied. VASWCNTs-DSSC with 34 μm original length was found to be the optimal choice in the present study. The highest conversion efficiencies of VASWCNTs-DSSC achieved 5.5%, which rivals that of the reference Pt DSSC. From the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis, it shows that the new DSSC offers lower interface resistance between the electrolyte and the counter electrode. This reproducible work emphasizes the promise of VASWCNTs as efficient and stable counter electrode materials in DSSC device design, especially taking into account the low-cost merit of this promising material.