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Issue 39, 2010
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Preparation of TiO2 spheres with hierarchical poresvia grafting polymerization and sol–gel process for dye-sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

Titania (TiO2) nanoparticles were surface-modified via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) with hydrophilic poly(oxyethylene) methacrylate (POEM), which can coordinate to the TiO2 precursor, titanium(IV) isopropoxide (TTIP). Following application of a sol–gel process and calcination at 450 °C, TiO2 nanospheres with hierarchical pores were generated, as confirmed by the shifting of conduction bands in TiO2 using UV-visible spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The particle size and morphology of TiO2 were characterized using wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis revealed bimodal distribution of TiO2 pore sizes with peaks at 6 nm and 50 nm to afford better penetration of polymer electrolyte, as confirmed by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) made from TiO2 nanospheres with hierarchical pores exhibited improved photovoltaic efficiency (3.3% for low molecular weight (Mw) and 2.5% for high Mw polymer electrolytes), as compared to those from neat TiO2 nanoparticles (2.4% for low Mw and 1.3% for high Mw) at 100 mW/cm2, owing to the increased surface areas and light scattering.

Graphical abstract: Preparation of TiO2 spheres with hierarchical pores via grafting polymerization and sol–gel process for dye-sensitized solar cells

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Article information


Submitted
17 May 2010
Accepted
22 Jun 2010
First published
03 Sep 2010

J. Mater. Chem., 2010,20, 8521-8530
Article type
Paper

Preparation of TiO2 spheres with hierarchical pores via grafting polymerization and sol–gel process for dye-sensitized solar cells

J. T. Park, D. K. Roh, R. Patel, E. Kim, D. Y. Ryu and J. H. Kim, J. Mater. Chem., 2010, 20, 8521
DOI: 10.1039/C0JM01471K

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