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Nanotechnology. 2011 Sep 7;22(36):365401. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/22/36/365401. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Fabrication of 3D interconnected porous TiO2 nanotubes templated by poly(vinyl chloride-g-4-vinyl pyridine) for dye-sensitized solar cells.

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  • 1Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

Porous TiO(2) nanotube arrays with three-dimensional (3D) interconnectivity were prepared using a sol-gel process assisted by poly(vinyl chloride-graft-4-vinyl pyridine), PVC-g-P4VP graft copolymer and a ZnO nanorod template. A 7 ┬Ám long ZnO nanorod array was grown from the fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) glass via a liquid phase deposition method. The TiO(2) sol-gel solution templated by the PVC-g-P4VP graft copolymer produced a random 3D interconnection between the adjacent ZnO nanorods during spin coating. Upon etching of ZnO, TiO(2) nanotubes consisting of 10-15 nm nanoparticles were generated, as confirmed by wide-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS), energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy (EF-TEM) and field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). The ordered and interconnected nanotube architecture showed an enhanced light scattering effect and increased penetration of polymer electrolytes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). The energy conversion efficiency reached 1.82% for liquid electrolyte, and 1.46% for low molecular weight (M(w)) and 0.74% for high M(w) polymer electrolytes.

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