Single step hydrothermal synthesis of hierarchical TiO2 microflowers with radially assembled nanorods for enhanced photovoltaic performance
Herein, 3D hierarchical TiO2 microflowers with a well faceted profile and high crystallinity were successfully obtained via a surfactant directed single step facile hydrothermal technique. TiO2 thin films were subjected to different characterization techniques such as UV-Vis-NIR spectrometry, X-ray diffraction (XRD), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for their optical, structural, morphological and compositional analysis. The morphological characterization indicated that the microflowers are made from numerous nanorods growing homocentrically. The length, diameter and degree of aggregation of the nanorods increase rapidly and become aggregated with increase in concentration of CTAB. The effect of CTAB concentration on the microstructure and photoelectric properties of solar cells i.e. open circuit voltage (Voc), short circuit current density (Jsc) and photoelectric conversion efficiency (η%) were investigated under UV illumination. The synthesized 3D hierarchical microflowers can act as a scattering overlayer and 1D nanorod underlayer. 1D nanorods can accelerate the movement of electrons in one direction, while microflowers can scatter light and can enhance the cell performance by light harvesting. An effective improvement in the photoconversion efficiency was observed and lies in the range 0.23% to 3.72%.