To improve the catalytic activity of a material, it is critical to maximize the effective surface area by directly contacting the electrolyte. Nanowires are a promising building block for catalysts in electrochemical applications because of their large surface area. Nickel oxide (NiO) decoration was achieved by drop-casting a nickel-dissolved solution onto vertically aligned silicon nanowire arrays with a carbon shell (SiNW/C). Based on the hybridization of the NiO and silicon nanowire arrays with a carbon shell this study aimed to achieve a synergic effect for the catalytic activity performance. This study demonstrated that the resulting nanomaterial exhibits excellent electrocatalytic activity and performs well as a counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The compositions of the materials were examined using X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and energy dispersive spectroscopy. Their micro- and nano-structures were investigated using scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The electrochemical activity toward I-/I3- was examined using cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The obtained peak power conversion efficiency of the DSSC based on the NiO@SiNW/C counter electrode was 9.49%, which was greater than that of the DSSC based on the Pt counter electrode.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Materials Science