The effect of amorphous TiO2 in P25 on dye-sensitized solar cell performance†
P25 is one of the most widely used forms of titanium(IV) oxide (TiO2), routinely utilised in dye-sensitised solar cells (DSCs), where it is often employed as a control, in spite of its poorly defined nature and the typically low device efficiency (or possibly because of this). Work by Park in 2000 and later by Lin et al. suggests that the rutile component might not be to blame for this, as has often been claimed. Recently it has been observed that P25 has quite a sizable amorphous content. A method to selectively remove this non-crystalline material has been developed, allowing for scrutiny of the role this amorphous material plays. Here we compare hydrothermally treated P25 (H-P25) with the as-received material, realizing solar-to-electric conversion efficiencies of 5.3% and 3.2% respectively. More importantly, this reveals important information about the detrimental effect of amorphous TiO2 on DSC performance, with broader implications, as most researchers do not actively examine their synthesized materials for the presence of an amorphous component.