Comparison of dye solar cell counter electrodes based on different carbon nanostructures

Kerttu Aitola, Janne Halme, Niina Halonen, Antti Kaskela, Minna Toivola, Albert G. Nasibulin, Krisztián Kordás, Geza Tóth, Esko I. Kauppinen, Peter D. Lund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Three characteristically different carbon nanomaterials were compared and analyzed as platinum-free counter electrodes for dye solar cells: 1) single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) random network films on glass, 2) aligned multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) forest films on Inconel steel and quartz, and 3) pressed carbon nanoparticle composite films on indium tin oxide-polyethylene terephtalate plastic. Results from electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and electron microscopy were discussed in terms of the catalytic activity, conductivity, thickness, transparency and flexibility of the electrode films. The SWCNT films showed reasonable catalytic performance at similar series resistance compared to platinized fluorine doped tin oxide-coated glass. The MWCNTs had similar catalytic activity, but the electrochemical performance of the films was limited by their high porosity. Carbon nanoparticle films had the lowest charge transfer resistance resulting from a combination of high catalytic activity and dense packing of the material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8125-8134
Number of pages10
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon black
  • Carbon nanostructure
  • Carbon nanotube
  • Catalyst
  • Conductive layer
  • Dye-sensitized solar cell


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