Tailoring the porosity of MOF-derived N-doped carbon electrocatalysts for highly efficient solar energy conversion

Jin Soo Kang, Jiho Kang, Dong Young Chung, Yoon Jun Son, Seoni Kim, Sungjun Kim, Jin Kim, Juwon Jeong, Myeong Jae Lee, Heejong Shin, Subin Park, Sung Jong Yoo, Min Jae Ko, Jeyong Yoon, Yung Eun Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Metal-organic framework (MOF)-derived carbon materials have been widely used as catalysts for a variety of electrochemical energy applications, and thermally carbonized zinc-2-methylimidazole (ZIF-8) has shown particularly high performance owing to its microporous structure with a large surface area. However, in the presence of bulky chemical species, such as triiodide, in mesoscopic dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), the small pore size of carbonized ZIF-8 causes a significant limitation in mass transfer and consequentially results in a poor performance. To resolve this problem, we herein report a simple strategy to enlarge the pore sizes of ZIF-8-derived carbon by increasing the dwelling time of Zn in ZIF-8 during the thermal carbonization process. A thin and uniform polydopamine shell introduced on the surface of ZIF-8, with the aim of retarding the escape of vaporized Zn species, leads to a dramatic increase in pore sizes, from the micropore to mesopore range. The porosity-tailored carbonized ZIF-8 manifests an excellent electrocatalytic performance in triiodide reduction, and when it was applied as the counter electrode of DSCs, an energy conversion efficiency of up to 9.03% is achievable, which is not only superior to that of the Pt-based counterpart but also among the highest performances of DSCs employing carbonaceous electrocatalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20170-20183
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number41
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) in Republic of Korea (Project Code: IBS-R006-A2). This work was also nancially supported by the Technology Innovation Program (10082572) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) in Republic of Korea and the Global Frontier R&D Program on Center for Multiscale Energy System (2016M3A6A7945505) funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) in Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


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