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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2017, Article ID 1064868, 11 pages
Research Article

A Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Using a Composite of PEDOT:PSS and Carbon Derived from Human Hair for a Counter Electrode

1Materials Science and Nanotechnology Program, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
2Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
3Integrated Nanotechnology Research Center, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
4Nanotec-KKU Center of Excellence on Advanced Nanomaterials for Energy Production and Storage, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
5Thailand Center of Excellence in Physics, Commission on Higher Education, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
6National Metal and Materials Technology Center, 114 Paholyothin Road, Klong 1, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand

Correspondence should be addressed to Apishok Tangtrakarn;

Received 18 January 2017; Revised 15 March 2017; Accepted 22 March 2017; Published 13 June 2017

Academic Editor: Yaohui Zhan

Copyright © 2017 Klitsada Moolsarn 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.


Carbon derived from hair is interesting because it has good electrocatalytic activity due to the existence of innate heteroatom dopants especially nitrogen and sulfur. In this study, a carbon catalyst containing high nitrogen contents (9.47 at.%) was fabricated without using any harsh chemicals. Moreover, the carbonization temperature was only 700°C. Carbonized hair/PEDOT:PSS composites (CxP) with varied carbon contents from x = 0.2 to 0.8 g were tested as a counter electrode (CE) for a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). This type of DSSC CE has scarcely been investigated. A DSSC with a C0.6P CE provides the best efficiency (6.54 ± 0.11%) among all composite CEs because it has a high fill factor (FF) and a high short-circuit current density (Jsc). The efficiency of DSSC with C0.6P CE is lower than Pt’s (7.29 ± 0.01%) since the Pt-based DSSC has higher FF and Jsc values. However, C0.6P is still promising as a DSSC CE since it is more cost-effective than Pt.