Recent Advances on Pt-Free Electro-Catalysts for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Molecules. 2021 Aug 26;26(17):5186. doi: 10.3390/molecules26175186.


Since Prof. Grätzel and co-workers achieved breakthrough progress on dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) in 1991, DSSCs have been extensively investigated and wildly developed as a potential renewable power source in the last two decades due to their low cost, low energy-intensive processing, and high roll-to-roll compatibility. During this period, the highest efficiency recorded for DSSC under ideal solar light (AM 1.5G, 100 mW cm-2) has increased from ~7% to ~14.3%. For the practical use of solar cells, the performance of photovoltaic devices in several conditions with weak light irradiation (e.g., indoor) or various light incident angles are also an important item. Accordingly, DSSCs exhibit high competitiveness in solar cell markets because their performances are less affected by the light intensity and are less sensitive to the light incident angle. However, the most used catalyst in the counter electrode (CE) of a typical DSSC is platinum (Pt), which is an expensive noble metal and is rare on earth. To further reduce the cost of the fabrication of DSSCs on the industrial scale, it is better to develop Pt-free electro-catalysts for the CEs of DSSCs, such as transition metallic compounds, conducting polymers, carbonaceous materials, and their composites. In this article, we will provide a short review on the Pt-free electro-catalyst CEs of DSSCs with superior cell compared to Pt CEs; additionally, those selected reports were published within the past 5 years.

PMID:34500618 | PMC:PMC8433667 | DOI:10.3390/molecules26175186


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