Journal of Energy Chemistry, Volume 31, Issue 1: 89-94(2019) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jechem.2018.03.011

Multiple active components synergistically driven heteroatom-doped porous carbon as high-performance counter electrode in dye-sensitized solar cells

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  • ReceivedFeb 6, 2018
  • AcceptedMar 25, 2018
  • PublishedMay 24, 2018


A facile template-free in situ self-activation approach for the multiple active components synergistically driven porous carbon was presented via a feasible annealing process. The biomass-derived carbon without additional activation reagents was fabricated using K-rich pomelo peel (PP) as the carbon source, which possesses a high electric conductivity where abundant functional hetero-metal atoms are doped into the carbon framework that playing the role of catalytic graphitization. The K+ that exists within the biomass can induce self-activation during pyrolysis apart from the activating gases during the pyrolysis process. The resulting electrocatalyst of PP-850 (PP was pyrolyzed at 850 °C in an N2 atmosphere) with abundant heteroatoms possesses a higher power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 7.81% as the counter electrode (CE) of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) compared with the CEs calcinated at other temperatures and a similar PCE with Pt counterpart (8.24%) based on the liquid I3/I electrolyte. The better electrocatalytic performance is attributed to the synergistic effect between self-activation and the co-doping of nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus all together in a carbon matrix. Due to the feasibility of large-scale production, rich heteroatom doping, the PP-derived carbon, which simplifies the procedure and decreases the cost, has a potential application for an alternative electrocatalyst for high-performance photovoltaic devices.

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