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Hierarchical Nanostructured photoanodes for Efficient Dye-sensitized Solar Cells

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Nanostructured photoanode material is one of key parts of dye (or quantum dot)-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs or QDSSCs). Although highly efficient power conversion efficiency has been achieved for DSSCs by using TiO2 nanoparticle photoelectrode, there is immense interests to develop novel hierarchical nanostructured materials which serve to improve the photovoltaic performance. Here we report a series of hierarchical wide band gap semiconductor photoanode materials (TiO2, ZnO, SnO2 and Zn2SnO4) prepared via simple sonochemical or hydrothermal process, which show superior photovoltaic performance comparing to the corresponding nanoparticle. Hierarchical TiO2 microsphere, anatase TiO2 nanowire arrays, ZnO hollow spheres, SnO2 octahedra, and marcoporous Zn2SnO4 have been synthesized and as very promising photoelectrodes for DSSCs or QDSSCs. Specially, hierarchical TiO2 microsphere consisting of anatase TiO2 nanorods and nanoparticle shows a power conversion efficiency of 10.34 % accompanying with 18.78 mA cm-2 in Jsc, 826 mV in Voc. These photovoltaic parameters are much higher than those of P25 nanoparticle, which are mainly attributed to considerable surface area (63.73 vs 59.89 m2 g-1 for P25 nanoparticles), a higher light scattering ability (reflectance: about 60 % at a range from 400 nm to 800 nm) and faster electron transport rate and slower recombination rate for this novel hierarchical TiO2 microsphere. In addition, the QDSSCs based on hierarchical TiO2 microsphere photoelectrode combining with the electrodeposited CdS/CdSe quantum dots showed 4.81 % photovoltaic performance.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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