Electrospun carbon nanofibers as low-cost counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells

Prakash Joshi, Lifeng Zhang, Qiliang Chen, David Galipeau, Hao Fong, Qiquan Qiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

304 Scopus citations


Electrospun carbon nanofibers (ECNs) have been explored as an electrocatalyst and low-cost alternative to platinum (Pt) for triiodide reduction in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). The results of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry measurements indicated that the ECN counter electrodes exhibited low charge-transfer resistance (R ct), large capacitance (C), and fast reaction rates for triiodide reduction. Although the efficiency (η) of ECN-based cells was slightly lower than that of Pt-based cells, their short circuit current density (J sc) and open circuit voltage (Voc) were comparable. The ECN-based cells achieved an energy conversion efficiency (η) of 5.5 % under the AM 1.5 illumination at 100 mW cm-2. The reason for lower cell performance using the ECN electrode was because of its lower fill factor (FF) than that of Pt-based cells, probably caused by high total series resistance (RStot) at ∼15.5 Ω cm2, which was larger than that of ∼4.8 Ω cm2 in the Pt-based devices. Simulated results showed that the fill factor (FF) and η could be substantially improved by decreasing RStot, which might be achieved by using thinner and highly porous ECNs to reduce the thickness of the ECNs counter electrode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3572-3577
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 22 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • carbon nanofibers
  • counter electrode
  • dye-sensitized solar cells
  • electrospinning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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