Investigations of the electrocatalytic activity of mononuclear and binuclear cobalt phthalocyanines for the reduction of molecular oxygen established that the latter compounds are more effective catalysts than the corresponding mononuclear species. A correlation between the half-band widths for the Q band of these species and their catalytic efficiency, expressed as a kinetically-limited current, suggests that the increase in activity may be attributed to electronic coupling between the phthalocyanine rings.
Tellurium-doped, mesoporous carbon nanomaterials with a relatively high doping level were prepared by a simple stabilization and carbonization method in the presence of a tellurium metalloid. A transparent counter electrode (CE) was prepared using tellurium-doped, mesoporous carbon (TeMC) materials, and was directly applied to bifacial, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). To improve the performance of the bifacial DSSC device, CEs should have outstanding electrocatalytic activity, electrical conductivity, and electrochemical stability, as well as high transparency. In this study, to make transparent electrodes with outstanding electrocatalytic activity and electrical conductivity, various TeMC materials with different carbonization temperatures were prepared by simple pyrolysis of the polyacrylonitrile-block-poly (n-butyl acrylate) (PAN-b-PBA) block copolymer in the presence of the tellurium metalloid. The electrocatalytic activity of the prepared TeMC materials were evaluated through a dummy cell test, and the material with the best catalytic ability was selected and optimized for application in bifacial DSSC devices by controlling the film thickness of the CE. As a result, the bifacial DSSC devices with the TeMC CE exhibited high power conversion efficiencies (PCE), i.e., 9.43% and 8.06% under front and rear side irradiation, respectively, which are the highest values reported for bifacial DSSCs to date. Based on these results, newly-developed transparent, carbon-based electrodes may lead to more stable and effective bifacial DSSC development without sacrificing the photovoltaic performance of the DSSC device.