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Issue 17, 2016
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Hierarchically assembled microspheres consisting of nanosheets of highly exposed (001)-facets TiO2 for dye-sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

In this work, the mono-dispersed TiO2 microspheres with highly exposed (001)-facets (ca. 82%), high surface area (112.2 m2 g−1), and self-ordered 3D porous network have been rapidly synthesized by an in situ facet-controlling approach without any organic templates and employed as photoanodes of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Owing to the stacking of 3D nanosheets of microspheres, the self-ordered internal porous network (ca. 30 nm) provides an efficient pathway for electrolyte and dye molecules penetrating into the interior part of a microsphere. Besides, the large voids among microspheres (ca. 300 nm) establish a highway for electrolyte diffusion. The formation processes of the prepared microspheres have been discussed, in which oriented self-assembly is involved. A reasonable mechanism is proposed to explain its high dye loading capacity (dye loading per gram/surface area of TiO2). Furthermore, according to the difference of normalized photocurrents of the cells with (001)-facet TiO2 and Ref-TiO2, the long wavelength region (600 to 800 nm) contributes 67.5% of the integrated photocurrent density; this result confirms its superior light scattering property. Finally, under 100 mW cm−2 light irradiation, a high photoelectric conversion efficiency of about 11.13% was achieved, as compared to that of the cell with a Ref-TiO2 film (8.11%). In light of their successful application in high-performing I3/I-based DSSCs, it is envisaged that these TiO2 microspheres with highly exposed (001)-facets can be used as excellent semiconductor materials in mass transfer limited cobalt-based DSSCs, and also in other fields, such as photocatalysis, water splitting, and lithium ion battery.

Graphical abstract: Hierarchically assembled microspheres consisting of nanosheets of highly exposed (001)-facets TiO2 for dye-sensitized solar cells

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
09 Dec 2015
Accepted
13 Jan 2016
First published
18 Jan 2016

RSC Adv., 2016,6, 14178-14191
Article type
Paper

Hierarchically assembled microspheres consisting of nanosheets of highly exposed (001)-facets TiO2 for dye-sensitized solar cells

J. Peng, H. Lin, C. Lee, C. Tseng, V. Suryanarayanan, R. Vittal and K. Ho, RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 14178
DOI: 10.1039/C5RA26307G

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