A Competitive Electron Transport Mechanism in Hierarchical Homogeneous Hybrid Structures Composed of TiO2 Nanoparticles and Nanotubes

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, San31, Nam-gu, Pohang, Kyoungbuk 790-780, Korea
Cite this: Chem. Mater. 2015, 27, 4, 1359–1366
Publication Date (Web):February 2, 2015
https://doi.org/10.1021/cm504516n
Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

We prepared well-defined hierarchical structures comprising doubly open-ended TiO2 nanotube (NT) arrays covered with various layers of few-nanometer-sized TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) to investigate the electron collection mechanisms in homogeneous hybrid structures. We found that competitive electron transport pathways (direct transport through the NT and randomized transport through the NPs) are present in the homogeneous hybrid structures. Photoinduced electrons generated at the few-nanometer-sized TiO2 NPs directly connected with TiO2 NTs (e.g., isolated and single-layer NPs on the surface of NTs) dominantly traveled to the NTs. With an increasing number of TiO2 NP layers, photoinduced electrons are randomly transported through the TiO2 NP layers. Enhanced light harvesting and efficient charge collection (∼95%) caused by the increased amounts of dye loading and the direct transport through the NT, respectively, are achieved in a structure with ∼1.4 layers of few-nanometer-sized TiO2 NPs, resulting in a power conversion efficiency of 11.3% with a JSC value (22.9 mA/cm2) close to the theoretical value (∼26 mA/cm2) of a N719-based dye-sensitized solar cell.

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Experimental details; extra HR-SEM images; XPS, UPS, and UV–vis spectra; and charge collection parameters for NT100-based DSC. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at http://pubs.acs.org.

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