New Antimony Selenide/Nickel Oxide Photocathode Boosts the Efficiency of Graphene Quantum-Dot Co-Sensitized Solar Cells.

Author(s) Kolay, A.; Kokal, R.K.; Kalluri, A.; Macwan, I.; Patra, P.K.; Ghosal, P.; Deepa, M.
Journal ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
Date Published 2017 Oct 11

A novel assembly of a photocathode and a photoanode is investigated to explore their complementary effects in enhancing the photovoltaic performance of a quantum-dot solar cell (QDSC). While p-type nickel oxide (NiO) has been used previously, antimony selenide (Sb2Se3) has not been used in a QDSC, especially as a component of a counter electrode (CE) architecture that doubles as the photocathode. Here, near-infrared (NIR) light-absorbing Sb2Se3 nanoparticles (NPs) coated over electrodeposited NiO nanofibers on a carbon (C) fabric substrate was employed as the highly efficient photocathode. Quasi-spherical Sb2Se3 NPs, with a band gap of 1.13 eV, upon illumination, release photoexcited electrons in addition to other charge carriers at the CE to further enhance the reduction of the oxidized polysulfide. The p-type conducting behavior of Sb2Se3, coupled with a work function at 4.63 eV, also facilitates electron injection to polysulfide. The effect of graphene quantum dots (GQDs) as co-sensitizers as well as electron conduits is also investigated in which a TiO2/CdS/GQDs photoanode structure in combination with a C-fabric CE delivered a power-conversion efficiency (PCE) of 5.28%, which is a vast improvement over the 4.23% that is obtained by using a TiO2/CdS photoanode (without GQDs) with the same CE. GQDs, due to a superior conductance, impact efficiency more than Sb2Se3 NPs do. The best PCE of a TiO2/CdS/GQDs-nS2-/Sn2--Sb2Se3/NiO/C-fabric cell is 5.96% (0.11 cm2 area), which, when replicated on a smaller area of 0.06 cm2, is seen to increase dramatically to 7.19%. The cell is also tested for 6 h of continuous irradiance. The rationalization for the channelized photogenerated electron movement, which augments the cell performance, is furnished in detail in these studies.

DOI 10.1021/acsami.7b09754
ISSN 1944-8252
Citation ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2017;9(40):3491534926.

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