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Small. 2013 Jan 28;9(2):312-21. doi: 10.1002/smll.201201590. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Hierarchical rutile TiO2 flower cluster-based high efficiency dye-sensitized solar cells via direct hydrothermal growth on conducting substrates.

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School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.


Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) based on hierarchical rutile TiO(2) flower clusters prepared by a facile, one-pot hydrothermal process exhibit a high efficiency. Complex yet appealing rutile TiO(2) flower films are, for the first time, directly hydrothermally grown on a transparent conducting fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrate. The thickness and density of as-grown flower clusters can be readily tuned by tailoring growth parameters, such as growth time, the addition of cations of different valence and size, initial concentrations of precursor and cation, growth temperature, and acidity. Notably, the small lattice mismatch between the FTO substrate and rutile TiO(2) renders the epitaxial growth of a compact rutile TiO(2) layer on the FTO glass. Intriguingly, these TiO(2) flower clusters can then be exploited as photoanodes to produce DSSCs, yielding a power conversion efficiency of 2.94% despite their rutile nature, which is further increased to 4.07% upon the TiCl(4) treatment.

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