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Key Laboratory of Functional Inorganic Material Chemistry, Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, Heilongjiang University, Harbin 150080, People's Republic of China
; Fax: +86 451 8667 3647
; Tel: +86 451 8660 9141
Dalton Trans., 2012,41, 12683-12689
14 May 2012,
23 Aug 2012
First published online
24 Aug 2012
The anatase TiO2 pillar (PL)–TiO2 nanoparticle (NP) composite is fabricated via layer-by-layer assembly. The composition of the nanostructures (i.e. the pillar-to-nanoparticle ratio) can be conveniently tuned by controlling the experimental conditions of the layer-by-layer assembly. It has been used to fabricate photoelectrodes for high-efficiency dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), which combine the advantages of the rapid electron transport in PLs with the high surface area of NPs. It was found that, with optimum preparation conditions, DSSCs with the composite photoelectrode show a better photoelectrical conversion efficiency (8.06%) than those with either the naked PL photoelectrode or the mechanically mixed PL–NP photoelectrode. This is explained by the photoelectron injection drive force and the interfacial electron transport of the DSSCs, which are quantitatively characterized using the surface photovoltage spectra and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements. It is evident that the DSSC with the optimal PL/NP ratio displays the largest photoelectron injection drive force and the fastest interfacial electron transfer.
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