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Balance of catalytic activity and conductivity of Cu2ZnSnS4/graphene counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells: using hydrothermal-synthesized kesterite Cu2ZnSnS4 and graphene obtained by product line

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Abstract

The catalytic activity and conductivity of Cu2ZnSnS4/graphene counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) was balanced using hydrothermal-synthesized kesterite Cu2ZnSnS4 and graphene obtained by product line. It was found that the electrocatalytic activity of Cu2ZnSnS4/graphene counter electrode was adjustable by balancing its catalytic activity and conductivity using varied weight ratio of graphene in the composited material of Cu2ZnSnS4/graphene. When the weight percent of graphene was 2% to Cu2ZnSnS4, the catalytic activity and conductivity of Cu2ZnSnS4/graphene counter electrode came to the balanced point, resulting in the best electrocatalytic activity. Under the balanced conditions, the dye-sensitized solar cell devices based on Cu2ZnSnS4/graphene counter electrode show a maximum solar-to-electrical power efficiency of 3.71% (with short-circuit photocurrent density Jsc of 13.24 mA cm−2, open-circuit photovoltage Voc of 0.63 V, and fill factor FF of 0.44), which is higher than that of unbalanced counter electrode. Although the photovoltaic performance of DSSCs based on Cu2ZnSnS4/graphene counter electrode was a little lower than that of DSSCs based on platinum (Pt) counter electrode (4.95%), it is believed that Cu2ZnSnS4/graphene counter electrode would outperform Pt counter electrode by further balancing its catalytic activity and conductivity using higher-quality and more matched Cu2ZnSnS4 and graphene. This strategy to improve the electrocatalytic activity of counter electrode will be helpful for exploring facile synthesis, low-cost, and efficient Cu2ZnSnS4-based composited counter electrode materials.

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Funding

This work was supported by the Fundamental Research Foundation for Universities in Heilongjiang Province of China (Hkdqg201807), the Postdoctoral Foundation of Heilongjiang Province of China (LBH-Z16203), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21571042 and 51974113).

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Correspondence to Liguo Wei or Yulin Yang.

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Dedicated to the memory of Ivo Alexandre Hümmelgen

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Wei, L., Wu, Q., Chen, W. et al. Balance of catalytic activity and conductivity of Cu2ZnSnS4/graphene counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells: using hydrothermal-synthesized kesterite Cu2ZnSnS4 and graphene obtained by product line. J Solid State Electrochem 24, 263–272 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10008-020-04493-6

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Keywords

  • Dye-sensitized solar cells
  • Cu2ZnSnS4/graphene composited materials
  • Counter electrode
  • Balance of catalytic activity and conductivity
  • Electrocatalytic activity