The role of layer-by-layer, compact TiO2 films in dye-sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cells†
A new insight into improving dye-sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cells (DSPECs) is reported here by using layer-by-layer deposition of compact nanoTiO2 films. These compact films were obtained by a sol–gel method and deposited on conductive glass substrates, beneath a nanoITO/TiO2 core/shell (ITO: tin-doped indium oxide) mesoporous network. The performance of DSPECs having the nanoTiO2-modified photoanode was evaluated and a remarkable enhancement of 53% in photocurrent was achieved, as well as cathodic currents shifted to more negative potentials. The compact TiO2 films on FTO (fluorine-doped tin oxide) improve the contact between core/shell network and conductive glass, and provide an enhanced collection of electrons at the photoanode, achieving a significant advance in DSPEC performance.