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Issue 34, 2010
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Surfactant-free synthesis of pure anatase TiO2nanorods suitable for dye-sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

A non-aqueous, solvothermal method was applied to the synthesis of TiO2 nanorods in pure anatase crystal phase using Ti(IV)-isopropoxide. The use of benzyl alcohol as both solvent and reactant was investigated in combination with the addition of acetic acid to the reaction mixture. Various values of the AcOH : Ti(OiPr)4 molar ratio were realized in the synthesis and tested in order to obtain a significant dimensional and morphological control over the resulting TiO2 nanostructures, as well as to devise a simple and scalable synthetic protocol. On the basis of the experimental results, a substantially modified version of the well-established “benzyl alcohol route” was then designed and developed. X-ray diffractometry and transmission electron microscopy revealed that monodisperse anatase nanorods having a length of about 13–17 nm and a diameter of 5 nm can be obtained when AcOH and Ti(OiPr)4 are reacted in comparable proportions. Investigation of the characteristic parameters of dye-sensitized solar cells fabricated using the synthesized nanorods as photoanode revealed a power conversion efficiency of about 7.5% corresponding to an improvement of 28% with respect to a commercial spheroidal nanotitania (P25) based reference device.

Graphical abstract: Surfactant-free synthesis of pure anatase TiO2 nanorods suitable for dye-sensitized solar cells

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
22 4 2010
Accepted
28 5 2010
First published
30 7 2010

J. Mater. Chem., 2010,20, 7248-7254
Article type
Paper

Surfactant-free synthesis of pure anatase TiO2 nanorods suitable for dye-sensitized solar cells

G. Melcarne, L. De Marco, E. Carlino, F. Martina, M. Manca, R. Cingolani, G. Gigli and G. Ciccarella, J. Mater. Chem., 2010, 20, 7248
DOI: 10.1039/C0JM01167C

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