Carbonaceous dye-sensitized solar cell photoelectrodes

High photovoltaic efficiency is one of the most important keys to the commercialization of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) in the quickly growing renewable electricity generation market. The heart of the DSSC system is a wide bandgap semiconductor based photoelectrode film that helps to adsorb dye molecules and transport the injected electrons away into the electrical circuit. However, charge recombination, poor light harvesting efficiency and slow electron transport of the nanocrystalline oxide photoelectrode film are major issues in the DSSC's performance. Recently, semiconducting composites based on carbonaceous materials (carbon nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and graphene) have been shown to be promising materials for the photoelectrode of DSSCs due to their fascinating properties and low cost. After a brief introduction to development of nanocrystalline oxide based films, this Review outlines advancements that have been achieved in the application of carbonaceous-based materials in the photoelectrode of DSSCs and how these advancements have improved performance. In addition, several of the unsolved issues in this research area are discussed and some important future directions are also highlighted.