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Growth of a sea urchin-like rutile TiO2 hierarchical microsphere film on Ti foil for a quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell

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Abstract

A sea urchin-like rutile TiO2 microsphere (RMS) film was fabricated on Ti foil via a hydrothermal process. The resulting rutile TiO2 hierarchical microspheres with a diameter of 5–6 μm are composed of nanorods with a diameter of ∼200 nm and a length of 1–2 μm. The sea urchin-like hierarchical structure leads to the Ti foil-based RMS film possessing much better light-scattering capability in the visible region than the bare Ti foil. By using it as an underlayer of a nanosized anatase TiO2 film (bTPP3) derived from a commercially available paste (TPP3), the corresponding bilayer Ti foil-based quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) only gives a conversion efficiency of 4.05%, much lower than the single bTPP3 film-based one on Ti foil (5.97%). By spin-coating a diluted TPP3 paste (sTPP3) on the RMS film prior to scraping the bTPP3 film, the resulting RMS/sTPP3/bTPP3 film-based DSSC achieves a significantly enhanced efficiency (7.27%). The electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) show that the RMS/sTPP3/bTPP3 film possesses better electron transport capability and longer electron lifetime than the bTPP3 film. This work not only provides the first example of directly growing rutile TiO2 hierarchically structured microsphere film on Ti foil suitable for replacing the rigid, heavy and expensive transparent conductive oxide (TCO) glass substrate to serve as a light-scattering underlayer of Ti foil-based quasi-solid-state DSSCs, but also paves a new route to develop Ti foil-based flexible DSSCs with high efficiency, low cost and a wide application field through optimizing the composition and structure of the photoanode.

Graphical abstract: Growth of a sea urchin-like rutile TiO2 hierarchical microsphere film on Ti foil for a quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Aug 2017, accepted on 02 Nov 2017 and first published on 02 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06360A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Advance Article
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    Growth of a sea urchin-like rutile TiO2 hierarchical microsphere film on Ti foil for a quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell

    J. H. Ri, S. Wu, J. Jin and T. Peng, Nanoscale, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06360A

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