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Pt- and TCO-Free Flexible Cathode for DSSC from Highly Conducting and Flexible PEDOT Paper Prepared via in Situ Interfacial Polymerization
- Anothumakkool, Bihag, Agrawal, Ishita, Bhange, Siddheshwar N., Soni, Roby, Game, Onkar, Ogale, Satishchandra B., Kurungot, Sreekumar
- ACS applied materials 2016 v.8 no.1 pp. 553-562
- catalytic activity, cathodes, cellulose, coatings, electrochemistry, glass, oxides, paper, photovoltaic cells, polymerization
- Here, we report the preparation of a flexible, free-standing, Pt- and TCO-free counter electrode in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC)-derived from polyethylenedioxythiophene (PEDOT)-impregnated cellulose paper. The synthetic strategy of making the thin flexible PEDOT paper is simple and scalable, which can be achieved via in situ polymerization all through a roll coating technique. The very low sheet resistance (4 Ω/□) obtained from a film of 40 μm thick PEDOT paper (PEDOT-p-5) is found to be superior to the conventional fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrate. The high conductivity (357 S/cm) displayed by PEDOT-p-5 is observed to be stable under ambient conditions as well as flexible and bending conditions. With all of these features in place, we could develop an efficient Pt- and TCO-free flexible counter electrode from PEDOT-p-5 for DSSC applications. The catalytic activity toward the tri-iodide reduction of the flexible electrode is analyzed by adopting various electrochemical methodologies. PEDOT-p-5 is found to display higher exchange current density (7.12 mA/cm²) and low charge transfer resistance (4.6 Ω) compared to the benchmark Pt-coated FTO glass (2.40 mA/cm² and 9.4 Ω, respectively). Further, a DSSC fabricated using PEDOT-p-5 as the counter electrode displays a comparable efficiency of 6.1% relative to 6.9% delivered by a system based on Pt/FTO as the counter electrode.