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Small. 2016 Sep;12(33):4508-20. doi: 10.1002/smll.201601058. Epub 2016 Jul 19.

Highly Functional TNTs with Superb Photocatalytic, Optical, and Electronic Performance Achieving Record PV Efficiency of 10.1% for 1D-Based DSSCs.

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Department of Organic and Nano Engineering, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, 04791, South Korea.
Department of Materials and Testing, National Textile University, Faisalabad, 37610, Pakistan.
Department of Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Technology, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, 04791, South Korea.
Technical Textile and Materials R&D Group, Research Institute of Industrial Technology Convergence, Ansan-si, 15588, South Korea.


Different nanostructures of TiO2 play an important role in the photocatalytic and photoelectronic applications. TiO2 nanotubes (TNTs) have received increasing attention for these applications due to their unique physicochemical properties. Focusing on highly functional TNTs (HF-TNTs) for photocatalytic and photoelectronic applications, this study describes the facile hydrothermal synthesis of HF-TNTs by using commercial and cheaper materials for cost-effective manufacturing. To prove the functionality and applicability, these TNTs are used as scattering structure in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Photocatalytic, optical, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), electrochemical impedance spectrum, incident-photon-to-current efficiency, and intensity-modulated photocurrent spectroscopy/intensity-modulated photovoltage spectroscopy characterizations are proving the functionality of HF-TNTs for DSSCs. HF-TNTs show 50% higher photocatalytic degradation rate and also 68% higher dye loading ability than conventional TNTs (C-TNTs). The DSSCs having HF-TNT and its composite-based multifunctional overlayer show effective light absorption, outstanding light scattering, lower interfacial resistance, longer electron lifetime, rapid electron transfer, and improved diffusion length, and consequently, J SC , quantum efficiency, and record photoconversion efficiency of 10.1% using commercial N-719 dye is achieved, for 1D-based DSSCs. These new and highly functional TNTs will be a concrete fundamental background toward the development of more functional applications in fuel cells, dye-sensitized solar cells, Li-ion batteries, photocatalysis process, ion-exchange/adsorption process, and photoelectrochemical devices.


DSSC; composite photoanodes; electron transport; highly functional TNTs; photocatalytic activity


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