Publication Details

Sun, Z., Kim, J. Ho., Liao, T., Zhao, Y., Bijarbooneh, F., Malgras, V. & Dou, S. Xue. (2012). Continually adjustable oriented 1D TiO2 nanostructure arrays with controlled growth of morphology and their application in dye-sensitized solar cells. CrystEngComm, 14 (17), 5472-5478.


Oriented, single-crystalline, one-dimensional (1D) TiO2 nanostructures would be most desirable for providing fascinating properties and features, such as high electron mobility or quantum confinement effects, high specific surface area, and even high mechanical strength, but achieving these structures has been limited by the availability of synthetic techniques. In this study, a concept for precisely controlling the morphology of 1D TiO2 nanostructures by tuning the hydrolysis rate of titanium precursors is proposed. Based on this innovation, oriented 1D rutile TiO2 nanostructure arrays with continually adjustable morphologies, from nanorods (NRODs) to nanoribbons (NRIBs), and then nanowires (NWs), as well as the transient state morphologies, were successfully synthesized. The proposed method is a significant finding in terms of controlling the morphology of the 1D TiO2 nanoarchitectures, which leads to significant changes in their band structures. It is worth noting that the synthesized rutile NRIBs and NWs have a comparable bandgap and conduction band edge height to those of the anatase phase, which in turn enhances their photochemical activity. In photovoltaic performance tests, the photoanode constructed from the oriented NRIB arrays possesses not only a high surface area for sufficient dye loading and better light scattering in the visible light range than for the other morphologies, but also a wider bandgap and higher conduction band edge, with more than 200% improvement in power conversion efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) compared with NROD morphology.

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