Abstract This study describes a systematic investigation of the stability of a carbon/TiO 2 counter electrode for use in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). In this system, nanoparticle additives were introduced by adding Ti-hydrogel. The additives then bound carbon particles and enhanced the adhesion of carbon materials to the conductive substrate. After introducing the Ti-hydrogel into the carbon paste, the carbon/Ti-hydrogel composited counter electrode (HC-CE) showed a better conductivity and stability compared with that of the carbon counter electrode (C-CE), while the catalytic activity was not influenced. The device based on the HC-CE showed superior power conversion efficiency (6.3%) and long-term stability over the device based on the C-CE (5.8%).