Electrochimica Acta, Vol.231, 1-12, 2017
ZnO Nanorods with Tunable Aspect Ratios Deriving from Oriented-attachment for Enhanced Performance in Quantum-dot Sensitized Solar Cells
ZnO nanorods consisted of oriented aligned elongated-nanoparticles along the  direction were readily prepared with tunable aspect ratios by a facile solvothermal method. An oriented-attachment growth mechanism was proposed based on time-dependent trails and first principle density function theory calculation. Control experiments indicated that the reaction medium played important roles to influence the oriented-attachment process and the aspect ratio could be tuned from similar to 4.6 to similar to 16.0 by simply altering the precursor dosages. The as-prepared ZnO nanorods were applied as photoanode materials in quantum-dot sensitized solar cells. The large pore size in the film structure and rough surface of the nanorod could enhance the quantum dots loading amounts and light scattering effect. In addition, the orderly aligned primary ENPs minimized the grain boundaries for suppressed recombination and provided a direct pathway for increased electron diffusion length. Meanwhile, the enhanced film hydrophilicity facilitated the electrolyte penetration and the regeneration of oxidized sensitizers. Therefore, a high power conversion efficiency of similar to 4.83% was demonstrated, indicating substantial improvement compared with that of traditional nanoparticle based device (similar to 3.54%). (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier Ltd.