Hollow core-shell structured mesoporous MWCNT/carbon nanofiber composites by electrospinning and silica template as counter electrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells

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The multi-walled carbon nanotube (CNT)-embedded carbon nanofibers with hollow core/highly mesoporous shell stucture (CNT/Meso-HACNF) are prepared by concentric electrospinning using poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) as a pyrolytic core precursor with either CNT/polyacrylonitrile (PAN) or fumed silica (SiO2)/PAN or CNT/SiO2/PAN-mixed polymer as a carbon shell precursor, subsequently proceeded to the process of stabilization, carbonization, SiO2 template etching, and activation. The CNT/Meso-HACNF showed hollow structure with highly mesoporosity, excellent distribution of CNT, and good electrical conductivity in employing as catalysts of counter electrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Highly mesoporous CNT/Meso-HACNF has a large surface area with a mesoporous surface area due to hollow structure and SiO2 template etching. The CNT/Meso-HACNF CE presents a high efficiency considering a Pt-free catalyst and and is comparable to Pt CE because of its hollow core/CNT-embeded highly mesoporous shell structure, which promote the electron and ion transfer and decrease the resistance of charge transfer owing to increasing the contact area between liquid electrolyte and CNT/Meso-HACNF.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2013: Advanced Materials, CNTs, Particles, Films and Composites (Volume 1)
Published: May 12, 2013
Pages: 257 - 260
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Carbon Nano Structures & Devices
ISBN: 978-1-4822-0581-7