Journal of Power Sources, Vol.260, 6-11, 2014
Morphology-controlled cactus-like branched anatase TiO2 arrays with high light-harvesting efficiency for dye-sensitized solar cells
The present work establishes a facile process for one-step hydrothermal growth of vertically aligned anatase cactus-like branched TiO2 (CBT) arrays on a transparent conducting oxide (TCO) substrate. Various CBT morphologies are obtained by adjusting the potassium titanium oxide oxalate (PTO) reactant concentration (from 0.05 M to 0.15 M) and this yields a morphologically-controllable branched TiO2 arrays geometry. The CBT arrays consist of a vertically oriented nanowire (NW) or nanosheet (NS) stem and a host of short nanorod (NR) branches. The hierarchical CBT arrays demonstrate their excellent candidatures as photoanodes, which are capable of exhibiting high light-harvesting efficiency in dyesensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Consequently, DSSCs based on 7 mu m long optimized CBT arrays (0.05 M PTO), which are assembled with high density and high aspect-ratio NR branches, exhibit an impressive power conversion efficiency of 6.43% under AM 1.5G one sun illumination. The high performance can be attributed to the prominent light-harvesting efficiency, resulting from larger surface area and superior light-scattering capability. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.