DNA mediated wire-like clusters of self-assembled TiO2 nanomaterials: supercapacitor and dye sensitized solar cell applications†
A new route for the formation of wire-like clusters of TiO2 nanomaterials self-assembled in DNA scaffold within an hour of reaction time is reported. TiO2 nanomaterials are synthesized by the reaction of titanium-isopropoxide with ethanol and water in the presence of DNA under continuous stirring and heating at 60 °C. The individual size of the TiO2 NPs self-assembled in DNA and the diameter of the wires can be tuned by controlling the DNA to Ti-salt molar ratios and other reaction parameters. The eventual diameter of the individual particles varies between 15 ± 5 nm ranges, whereas the length of the nanowires varies in the 2–3 μm range. The synthesized wire-like DNA–TiO2 nanomaterials are excellent materials for electrochemical supercapacitor and DSSC applications. From the electrochemical supercapacitor experiment, it was found that the TiO2 nanomaterials showed different specific capacitance (Cs) values for the various nanowires, and the order of Cs values are as follows: wire-like clusters (small size) > wire-like clusters (large size). The highest Cs of 2.69 F g−1 was observed for TiO2 having wire-like structure with small sizes. The study of the long term cycling stability of wire-like clusters (small size) electrode were shown to be stable, retaining ca. 80% of the initial specific capacitance, even after 5000 cycles. The potentiality of the DNA–TiO2 nanomaterials was also tested in photo-voltaic applications and the observed efficiency was found higher in the case of wire-like TiO2 nanostructures with larger sizes compared to smaller sizes. In future, the described method can be extended for the synthesis of other oxide based materials on DNA scaffold and can be further used in other applications like sensors, Li-ion battery materials or treatment for environmental waste water.