Synergetic effects of hybrid carbon nanostructured counter electrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells: A review

Manas R. Samantaray, Abhay Kumar Mondal, Govindhasamy Murugadoss, Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu, Santanu Das*, Raihana Bahru, Mohd Ambri Mohamed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)


This article provides an overview of the structural and physicochemical properties of stable carbon-based nanomaterials and their applications as counter electrodes (CEs) in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The research community has long sought to harvest highly efficient third-generation DSSCs by developing carbon-based CEs, which are among the most important components of DSSCs. Since the initial introduction of DSSCs, Pt-based electrodes have been commonly used as CEs owing to their high-electrocatalytic activities, thus, accelerating the redox couple at the electrode/electrolyte interface to complete the circuit. However, Pt-based electrodes have several limitations due to their cost, abundance, complicated facility, and low corrosion resistance in a liquid electrolyte, which further restricts the large-area applications of DSSCs. Although carbon-based nanostructures showed the best potential to replace Pt-CE of DSSC, several new properties and characteristics of carbon-CE have been reported for future enhancements in this field. In this review, we discuss the detailed synthesis, properties, and performances of various carbonaceous materials proposed for DSSC-CE. These nano-carbon materials include carbon nanoparticles, activated carbon, carbon nanofibers, carbon nanotube, two-dimensional graphene, and hybrid carbon material composites. Among the CE materials currently available, carbon-carbon hybridized electrodes show the best performance efficiency (up to 10.05%) with a high fill factor (83%). Indeed, up to 8.23% improvements in cell efficiency may be achieved by a carbon-metal hybrid material under sun condition. This review then provides guidance on how to choose appropriate carbon nanomaterials to improve the performance of CEs used in DSSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2779
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020


  • Carbon
  • Counter electrode
  • DSSCs
  • Efficiency
  • Nanomaterials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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