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Rational Design of Tripartite Layered TiO2 Photoelectrode: A Candidate for Enhanced Power Conversion Efficiency in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Abstract

A tri-layered photoelectrode for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is assembled using single crystal hollow TiO2 nanoparticles (HTNPs), sub-micro hollow TiO2 mesospheres (SHTMSs) and hierarchical TiO2 microspheres (HTMSs). The bottom layer made of single crystal hollow TiO2 nanoparticles is for high dye absorption, better contact with FTO glass and light trapping; middle layer consisting of sub-micro hollow mesospheres works as a multifunctional layer due to its light scattering ability for the high adsorption ability to the dye and slow recombination rates coexistence; while the top layer consists of hierarchical microspheres for enhanced light scattering. The DSSCs made of photoanode with a tripartite-layers structure (Film 4), shows a superior photo conversion efficiency (PCE) of 9.24%, which is 7.4% higher than single layered photoanode composed of HTNPs (Film 1: 8.90%), 4.6% higher as compared to the double layer-based electrode consisting of HTNPs and SHTMSs (Film 2: 9.03%) and 2.6% higher than the double layer-based electrode made of HTNPs and HTMSs (Film 3: 9.11%). The significant improvements in PCE for the tri-layered TiO2 photoanodes are mainly because of the combined effects of their higher light scattering ability, long electron lifetime, fast electron transport rate, efficient charge collection and a considerable surface area with high dye-loading capability. This study confirms that the facile tri-layer photoanode is an interesting structure for high-efficiency DSSCs.

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 May 2017, accepted on 08 Jun 2017 and first published on 09 Jun 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR03134C
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Rational Design of Tripartite Layered TiO2 Photoelectrode: A Candidate for Enhanced Power Conversion Efficiency in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

    M. Wu, J. Khan, J. Gu, S. He, X. Li, G. Ahmed, Z. Liu, M. N. Akhtar and W. Mai, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR03134C

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