Graphene-embedded carbon nanofibers decorated with Pt nanoneedles for high efficiency dye-sensitized solar cells

Hytham Elbohy, Alex Aboagye, Sudhan Sigdel, Qi Wang, M. Hassan Sayyad, Lifeng Zhang, Qiquan Qiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Graphene-embedded carbon nanofibers (GCNFs) were developed as a new counter electrode nanomaterial for high efficiency dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). GCNFs were produced by electrospinning polyacrylonitrile (PAN) with graphene nanoplatelets followed by stabilization and carbonization. GCNFs decorated with surface-attached platinum nanoneedles (GCNFs-PtNNs) were subsequently prepared by a redox reaction and then deposited onto fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) glass to make a counter electrode for DSCs. Graphene inside the carbon nanofibers and Pt nanoneedles on the surface demonstrated a synergistic effect to improve the DSC performance. Compared to DSCs with conventional planar Pt counter electrodes, the DSCs with GCNFs-PtNNs significantly improved the energy conversion efficiency from ∼8.63% to ∼9.70% using a mask under AM1.5 illumination. This is the highest conversion efficiency so far with a carbon nanofiber based counter electrode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17721-17727
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Volume3
Issue number34
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 20 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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