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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2016, Article ID 5186762, 7 pages
Research Article

An Efficient Metal-Free Hydrophilic Carbon as a Counter Electrode for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

1Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 54100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 20 November 2015; Accepted 22 February 2016

Academic Editor: Prakash Basnyat

Copyright © 2016 Mojgan Kouhnavard et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study presents a new cost-effective metal-free counter electrode (CE) for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). CE was prepared by doctor blading a hydrophilic carbon (HC) particle on a fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate. Thereafter, HC CE was characterized using X-ray diffraction, profilometry, four-point probe testing, and cyclic voltammetry. A 2 µm thick HC CE revealed a comparable catalytic activity to that of the Pt electrode under the same experimental conditions. DSSC based on HC CE was analyzed and showed of 6.87 mA/cm2 close to that of DSSC with Pt CE (7.0 mA/cm2). More importantly, DSSC based on HC CE yielded a power conversion efficiency () of 2.93% under AM 1.5 irradiation (100 mW/cm2), which was comparable to that of DSSC based on standard Pt CE. These findings suggest that HC CE could be a promising CE for low-cost DSSCs.