• Elucidated the role of commonly used carbon nanomaterial in dye sensitized solar cells.
• Reduced graphene oxide can play as supporting role for the catalytic carbon black nanoparticles.
• Can be used to replace Pt in dye sensitized solar cells.
• Produce solar cell with power conversion efficiency ∼3.26%.
This study investigates dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) manufactured with carbon-based counter electrodes (carbon black, graphite and graphene). Specifically, it examine the effects of each commonly employed carbon allotrope on the subsequent photovoltaic performance. The fabricated carbon counter electrodes were extensively characterized by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). DSSCs were also manufactured using counter electrodes produced by different mixtures of carbon allotropes. It was found that the addition of graphene into carbon black produces high photovoltaic performances in DSSCs by creating additional conduction paths and a high surface area for iodide reduction. It is potentially feasible that such a carbon configuration can be used as a counter electrode, replacing the more expensive Pt.
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