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Performances of some low-cost counter electrode materials in CdS and CdSe quantum dot-sensitized solar cells

Hieng Kiat Jun, Mohamed Abdul Careem and Abdul Kariem Arof*

Author Affiliations

Centre for Ionics University of Malaya (CIUM), Department of Physics, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:69  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-69

Published: 10 February 2014

Abstract

Different counter electrode (CE) materials based on carbon and Cu2S were prepared for the application in CdS and CdSe quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). The CEs were prepared using low-cost and facile methods. Platinum was used as the reference CE material to compare the performances of the other materials. While carbon-based materials produced the best solar cell performance in CdS QDSSCs, platinum and Cu2S were superior in CdSe QDSSCs. Different CE materials have different performance in the two types of QDSSCs employed due to the different type of sensitizers and composition of polysulfide electrolytes used. The poor performance of QDSSCs with some CE materials is largely due to the lower photocurrent density and open-circuit voltage. The electrochemical impedance spectroscopy performed on the cells showed that the poor-performing QDSSCs had higher charge-transfer resistances and CPE values at their CE/electrolyte interfaces.

Keywords:
Quantum dot-sensitized solar cell (QDSSC); CdS; CdSe; Successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR); Counter electrode