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Nano Lett. 2007 Mar;7(3):676-80. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

Single wall carbon nanotube scaffolds for photoelectrochemical solar cells. Capture and transport of photogenerated electrons.

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  • 1Radiation Laboratory, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556-0579, USA.


Single wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) architecture when employed as conducting scaffolds in a TiO2 semiconductor based photoelectrochemical cell can boost the photoconversion efficiency by a factor of 2. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles were dispersed on SWCNT films to improve photoinduced charge separation and transport of carriers to the collecting electrode surface. The shift of approximately 100 mV in apparent Fermi level of the SWCNT-TiO2 system as compared to the unsupported TiO2 system indicates the Fermi level equilibration between the two systems. The interplay between the TiO2 and SWCNT of attaining charge equilibration is an important factor for improving photoelectrochemical performance of nanostructured semiconductor based solar cells. The feasibility of employing a SWCNT-TiO2 composite to drive the water photoelectrolysis reaction has also been explored.

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