Edge-selenated graphene nanoplatelets as durable metal-free catalysts for iodine reduction reaction in dye-sensitized solar cells

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Metal-free carbon-based electrocatalysts for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are sufficiently active in Co(II)/Co(III) electrolytes but are not satisfactory in the most commonly used iodide/triiodide (I(-)/I3 (-)) electrolytes. Thus, developing active and stable metal-free electrocatalysts in both electrolytes is one of the most important issues in DSSC research. We report the synthesis of edge-selenated graphene nanoplatelets (SeGnPs) prepared by a simple mechanochemical reaction between graphite and selenium (Se) powders, and their application to the counter electrode (CE) for DSSCs in both I(-)/I3 (-) and Co(II)/Co(III) electrolytes. The edge-selective doping and the preservation of the pristine graphene basal plane in the SeGnPs were confirmed by various analytical techniques, including atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Tested as the DSSC CE in both Co(bpy)3 (2+/3+) (bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine) and I(-)/I3 (-) electrolytes, the SeGnP-CEs exhibited outstanding electrocatalytic performance with ultimately high stability. The SeGnP-CE-based DSSCs displayed a higher photovoltaic performance than did the Pt-CE-based DSSCs in both SM315 sensitizer with Co(bpy)3 (2+/3+) and N719 sensitizer with I(-)/I3 (-) electrolytes. Furthermore, the I3 (-) reduction mechanism, which has not been fully understood in carbon-based CE materials to date, was clarified by an electrochemical kinetics study combined with density functional theory and nonequilibrium Green's function calculations.
Publisher
AMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SCIENCE
Issue Date
2016-06
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

SCIENCE ADVANCES, v.2, no.6, pp.e1501459

ISSN
2375-2548
DOI
10.1126/sciadv.1501459
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/214508
Appears in Collection
EEW-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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