Progress in Counter Electrodes for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (pp. 45-84)
Authors: (Luiz Carlos P. Almeida, Agnaldo S. Gonçalves, João E. Benedetti, Ana F. Nogueira, Institute of Chemistry, University of Campinas, UNICAMP, Campinas, SP, Brazil)
Abstract: Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) have attracted considerable attention as promising alternatives to traditional silicon-based solar cells, especially because DSCs are composed of less expensive materials and require relatively simple manufacturing processes. One of the challenges is to enhance performance and long-term stability. Therefore, the development of new materials and processes is of utmost importance. Progress has been made on wide band gap semiconductor oxide nanoparticles and on different dyes for the photoanode, along with promising electrolyte and hole conducting systems. The counter electrode is one of the most important components of DSCs, since it has the function of reducing the oxidized mediator species or collecting the holes from the hole transporting material. Therefore, the choice of the counter electrode depends on the particular application of the DSCs. In light of this, this chapter reviews the development of counter electrodes for DSCs. Carbon-based materials, conducting polymers, and other platinum-free catalytic layers, deposited over different substrates, such as metal foils and plastic sheets, will be discussed. Emphasis will be given to different preparation methods depending on the particular application.