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Nat Nanotechnol. 2009 Sep;4(9):592-7. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2009.226. Epub 2009 Aug 16.

Long vertically aligned titania nanotubes on transparent conducting oxide for highly efficient solar cells.

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[1] Materials Research Institute, Department of Electrical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Dye-sensitized solar cells consist of a random network of titania nanoparticles that serve both as a high-surface-area support for dye molecules and as an electron-transporting medium. Despite achieving high power conversion efficiencies, their performance is limited by electron trapping in the nanoparticle film. Electron diffusion lengths can be increased by transporting charge through highly ordered nanostructures such as titania nanotube arrays. Although titania nanotube array films have been shown to enhance the efficiencies of both charge collection and light harvesting, it has not been possible to grow them on transparent conducting oxide glass with the lengths needed for high-efficiency device applications (tens of micrometres). Here, we report the fabrication of transparent titania nanotube array films on transparent conducting oxide glass with lengths between 0.3 and 33.0 microm using a novel electrochemistry approach. Dye-sensitized solar cells containing these arrays yielded a power conversion efficiency of 6.9%. The incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency ranged from 70 to 80% for wavelengths between 450 and 650 nm.

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