Title : Flexible CNT/metal-sulfide composite electrode for energy conversion and energy storage applications
Carbon nanotubes (CNT) and metal sulfides have attracted considerable attention owing to their outstanding properties and multiple application areas, such as electrochemical energy conversion and energy storage. Here we describes a cost-effective and facile solution approach to the preparation of metal sulfides (PbS, CuS, CoS, and NiS) grown directly on CNTs, such as CNT/PbS, CNT/CuS, CNT/CoS, and CNT/NiS flexible electrodes for quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs) and supercapacitors (SCs). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy confirmed that the CNT network was covered with high-purity metal sulfide compounds. QDSSCs equipped with the CNT/NiS counter electrode (CE) showed an impressive energy conversion efficiency (η) of 6.41% and remarkable stability. Interestingly, the assembled symmetric CNT/NiS-based polysulfide SC device exhibited a maximal energy density of 35.39 W h kg-1 and superior cycling durability with 98.39% retention after 1,000 cycles compared to the other CNT/metal-sulfides. The elevated performance of the composites was attributed mainly to the good conductivity, high surface area with mesoporous structures and stability of the CNTs and the high electrocatalytic activity of the metal sulfides. Overall, the designed composite CNT/metal-sulfide electrodes offer an important guideline for the development of next level energy conversion and energy storage devices.