Controlled mechanical cleavage of bulk niobium diselenide to nanoscaled sheet, rod, and particle structures for Pt-free dye-sensitized solar cells

Mohammed Aziz Ibrahem, Wei Chih Huang, Tian Wey Lan, Karunakara Moorthy Boopathi, Yu Chen Hsiao, Chih Han Chen, Widhya Budiawan, Yang Yuan Chen, Chia Seng Chang, Lain-Jong Li, Chih Hung Tsai*, Chih Wei Chu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we report a one-step process for the preparation of NbSe2 nanosheets, nanorods and nanoparticles from pristine materials under the effects of shear and friction forces. Nevertheless, simple and facile methods for the large-scale syntheses of well-defined NbSe2 nanostructures in high yield have yet to be realized and that will have a great impact in a wide range of applications. For example, developing platinum (Pt)-free and highly efficient counter electrodes is meaningful and necessary for the cost reduction of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). By integrating this approach with a simple method of thin film preparation (spray coating) allowed us to prepare large-area, conductive, semitransparent flexible thin films of NbSe2. We have used microscopic and macroscopic methods to examine the morphologies, compositions, crystallinity, and electrical and optical properties of the converted NbSe2 nanostructures. DSSCs with NbSe2 nanosheet counter electrodes (CEs) achieved a conversion efficiency of 7.73%, superior to an efficiency of 7.01% for Pt-based CEs. Our NbSe2 nanostructure provides a cost-effective CE alternative to the noble metal Pt in DSSCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11382-11390
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Volume2
Issue number29
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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