Graphene-modified polyaniline as the catalyst material for the counter electrode of a dye-sensitized solar cell

Chen Yu Liu, Kuan Chieh Huang, Ping Hsien Chung, Chun Chieh Wang, Chia Yuan Chen, R. Vittal, Chun Guey Wu, Wen Yen Chiu, Kuo Chuan Ho

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A nanocomposite thin film, consisting of graphene (GN) and polyaniline (PANI) (designated as GN/PANI) is coated as a catalytic layer on an FTO glass by electro-polymerization from a solution containing aniline (ANI) monomers and GNs; the thus coated electrode is used as a counter electrode (CE) for a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). Modification of the surface of GNs by the ANI monomers is confirmed by thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA). Fourier transform spectroscopy (FTIR) and UV/Vis absorption spectra are used to demonstrate the non-covalent interactions between ANI and GN in the GN/ANI particles. The effect of the refluxing process on the dispersibility of GN/ANI particles in an aqueous solution is studied. The high electro-catalytic ability of GN/PANI-CE is established through cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The short-circuit current density (J SC) and power-conversion efficiency (η) of the DSSC with the GN/PANI-CE are measured to be 16.28 mA cm -2 and 7.17%, respectively, while the corresponding values are 15.01 mA cm -2 and 7.24% for a DSSC with a CE having Pt as the catalytic material (Pt-CE). The composite film of GN/PANI is thus established to be a potential catalyst for replacing the expensive, conventional Pt in a DSSC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-157
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Counter electrode
  • Dye-sensitized solar cell
  • Electro-polymerization
  • Graphene
  • Polyaniline


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