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Polystyrene nanoparticles-templated hollow titania nanosphere monolayers for perovskite solar cells

Abstract

We report a novel multi-step method for the preparation of ordered mesoporous titania scaffolds with potential for application to perovskite-based solar cells. The first step is the preparation of a monolayer of polystyrene nanoparticles at a water-air interface and its subsequent transfer onto a solid substrate. A titania precursor solution (titanium(IV) isopropoxide in ethanol) is then drop-cast onto the monolayer and left to "incubate" overnight. Instead of the expected inverse monolayer-structure, a subsequent calcination step of the precursor yields an ordered monolayer of hollow titania nanospheres with a wall thickness of ~ 30-50 nm, and a slightly larger diameter than that of the starting spheres. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) characterization of such scaffolds confirm they consist of nanocrystalline anatase titania, and that any polystyrene/carbon residues in the scaffolds are below the XPS detection level. As an illustrative application we prepared perovskite solar cells incorporating the templated-nanoparticle scaffolds displaying a respectable power conversion efficiency of ~9 %, twice as large as that of unoptimized "reference" cells (i.e. incorporating conventional mesoporous or compact titania scaffolds), thereby also demonstrating that the process is more robust with respect to optimization of the process parameters.

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Sep 2017, accepted on 30 Jan 2018 and first published on 31 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TC04070A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Polystyrene nanoparticles-templated hollow titania nanosphere monolayers for perovskite solar cells

    V. Robbiano, G. M. Paternò, G. F. Cotella, T. FIORE, M. Dianetti, M. Scopelliti, F. Brunetti, B. Pignataro and F. Cacialli, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TC04070A

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