Electrocatalytic activity of NiO on silicon nanowires with a carbon shell and its application in dye-sensitized solar cell counter electrodes

Junhee Kim, Cho Long Jung, Minsoo Kim, Soomin Kim, Yoon Mook Kang, Haeseok Lee, Jeounghee Park, Yongseok Jun, Donghwan Kim

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22 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7761-7767
Number of pages7
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 14


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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