Jump to main content
Jump to site search


Pervasive infiltration and multi-branch chemisorption of N-719 molecules into newly- designed spongy TiO2 layers deposited by gig-lox sputtering processes

Abstract

The use of nanostructured materials is representing a breakthrough in many fields of applications owing to their empowered functionalities. In this framework, newly-designed spongy TiO2 layers are deposited by a reactive sputtering method based on Grazing-Incidence Geometry combined with Local OXidation of the species (gig-lox). The deposited material gains 50% porosity in volume through depths of hundreds of nanometers and consists of a forest of uniform rods separated by meso-pores (pipelines for dye diffusion) arising from the grazing geometry; the rods, on their side, have an internal branched structure creating an interconnected network of nano-pores with size in the 3-5 nm range. The gig-lox TiO2 layer, sensitised by a standard Ru-complex (N-719), is tested as scaffold for dye chemisorption and charge injection/collection. We demonstrate that the interconnected array of pores allows a deep and pervasive infiltration of the dye through the whole layer with density of 1-21020 molecules/cm3. A second empowering is represented by the nano-pore size that, being similar to the steric hindrance of the dye, allows the N-719 molecules to establish a multi-branch (octopus) anchoring on the pore walls. Using CH3CN compared to CH3CH2OH as solvent rises the probability of octopus chemisorption due to a more proper interaction with the dye. As an overall effect, we measure an increment of the electron density in the conduction band of the gig-lox TiO2 layer of 4 orders of magnitude under 1 sun illumination with respect to the intrinsic carrier level. This finding gives a positive feedback on the injection efficiency, related to the dye density, distribution and anchoring, and also on the carrier collection capability of the gig-lox TiO2 owing to the existence of a percolation path for the current to cross the whole material. All those properties afford good practical perspectives around photo-active hybrid blends based on industrially up-scalable solvent-free TiO2 gig-lox scaffolds to exploit their many structural empowering for DSC and similar architectures.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 05 Sep 2017, accepted on 13 Nov 2017 and first published on 14 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA07811K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    Pervasive infiltration and multi-branch chemisorption of N-719 molecules into newly- designed spongy TiO2 layers deposited by gig-lox sputtering processes

    S. sanzaro, E. Fazio, F. Neri, E. Smecca, C. Bongiorno, G. Mannino, R. A. Puglisi, A. La Magna and A. Alberti, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA07811K

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements