TiO2 nanotubes infiltrated with nanoparticles for dye sensitized solar cells

Xuan Pan, Changhong Chen, Kai Zhu, Zhaoyang Fan

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Abstract

We present a detailed study of the infiltration of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanotubes (NTs) with TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) for dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The aim is to combine the merits of the NP's high dye loading and high light harvesting capability with the NT's straight carrier transport path and high electron collection efficiency to improve the DSSC performance. On infiltrating NTs with TiCl4 solution followed by hydrothermal synthesis, 10nm size NPs were observed to form a conformal and dense layer on the NT walls. Compared with the bare NT structure, dye loading of this mixed NT and NP structure is more than doubled. The overall photon conversion efficiencies of the fabricated DSSCs are improved by 152%, 107%, and 49% for 8, 13, and 20μm long NTs, respectively. Electron transport and recombination parameters were extracted based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements. Although a slight reduction of electron lifetime was observed in the mixed structures due to enhanced recombination with a larger surface area, the diffusion length is still significantly longer than the NT length used, suggesting that most electrons are collected. In addition to dye loading and hence photocurrent increment, the photovoltage and filling factor were also improved in the mixed structure due to a low serial resistance, leading to the enhancement of the overall efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number235402
JournalNanotechnology
Volume22
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 10 2011

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