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Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Employing Doubly or Singly Open-Ended TiO2 Nanotube Arrays: Structural Geometry and Charge Transport

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, San 31, Nam-gu, Pohang, Kyoungbuk 790-780, Korea
*T. Park. E-mail: [email protected]
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2014, 6, 17, 15388–15394
Publication Date (Web):August 19, 2014
https://doi.org/10.1021/am503934s
Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

We systematically investigated the charge transport properties of doubly or singly open-ended TiO2 nanotube arrays (DNT and SNT, respectively) for their utility as electrodes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). The SNT or DNT arrays were transferred in a bottom-up (B-up) or top-up (T-up) configuration onto a fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrate onto which had been deposited a 2 μm thick TiO2 nanoparticle (NP) interlayer. This process yielded four types of DSCs prepared with SNTs (B-up or T-up) or DNT (B-up or T-up). The photovoltaic performances of these DSCs were analyzed by measuring the dependence of the charge transport on the DSC geometry. High resolution scanning electron microscopy techniques were used to characterize the electrode cross sections, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to characterize the electrical connection at the interface between the NT array and the TiO2 NP interlayer. We examined the effects of decorating the DNT or SNT arrays with small NPs ([email protected] and [email protected], respectively) in an effort to increase the extent of dye loading. The DNT arrays decorated with small NPs performed better than the decorated SNT arrays, most likely because the Ti(OH)4 precursor solution flowed freely into the array through the open ends of the NTs in the DNT case but not in the SNT case. The [email protected] DSC exhibited a better PCE (10%) compared to the [email protected] DSCs (6.8%) because the electrolyte solution flow was not restricted, direct electron transport though the NT arrays was possible, the electrical connection at the interface between the NT array and the TiO2 NP interlayer was good, and the array provided efficient light harvesting.

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Experimental section, characterization, IV characteristics of devices, the FF values as a function of the TiCl4 treatment time, and Nyquist plots of electrochemical impedance spectrophotometer. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at http://pubs.acs.org.

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