Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2014, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (8): 1495-1500.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201405051

• ELECTROCHEMISTRY AND NEW ENERGY • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Preparation of a Highly Efficient PbS Electrode and Its Application in Quantum Dots-Sensitized Solar Cells

ZHANG Jing-Bo1, LI Pan1, YANG Hui1, ZHAO Fei-Yan2,3, TANG Guang-Shi2, SUN Li-Na2, LIN Yuan3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Functional Material Chemistry, Ministry of Education, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Structure and Performance for Functional Molecules, College of Chemistry, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, P. R. China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, P. R. China;
    3. Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Photochemistry, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China
  • Received:2014-03-24 Revised:2014-05-04 Published:2014-07-18
  • Contact: ZHANG Jing-Bo, TANG Guang-Shi;
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (20873162, 21273160, 51102011), Program for Innovative Research Team in University of Tianjin, China (TD12-5038), and Program for Excellent Introduced Talents of Tianjin Normal University, China (5RL116).


To improve the light-to-electric conversion efficiency of quantum dots-sensitized nanocrystalline thin-film solar cells, a PbS electrode with high electrocatalytic activity toward polysulfide electrolyte was prepared by successively treating Pb foil in acid and polysulfide solutions. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements were performed to evaluate the electrocatalytic activity of the prepared PbS electrode. Based on the EIS results, the temperature and time to treat the Pb foil in the acid solution were optimized. The PbS electrode prepared under the optimized conditions was used as a counter electrode to fabricate a quantumdotssensitized solar cell with a CdSe quantum dots-sensitized TiO2 nanocrystalline thin film as the photoanode and polysulfide solution as the electrolyte. Both the electrocatalytic activity and light-to-electric conversion properties of the PbS electrode prepared from acid treatment of Pb foil for the optimized temperature and time are superior to those of electrodes prepared by other reported methods. In our method, the treatment time is considerably less but the PbS counter electrode maintains a superior catalytic activity compared with other methods. X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy were performed to demonstrate the formation process of PbS, and the catalytic enhancement mechanism of the prepared PbS electrode is discussed.

Key words: PbS electrode, Catalytic activity, Polysulfide electrolyte, CdSe quantum dots-sensitized solar cell, Photoelectric conversion efficiency