We developed a scattering layer composed of TiO2 nanocrystals assembled into a densely packed three-dimensional network of nanofibers to localize light within a photoanode used in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The electro-netting approach was applied to obtain polyamide 6 nanofibers with bi-modal diameter distribution, followed by solvothermal synthesis for the coating of TiO2 nanocrystals on the polymer template. The resulting nanofiber-structured scattering layer (NFSL) is composed of TiO2 nanofibers (200–300 nm in diameter) supporting an ultrathin nanofiber network (diameters within 10–50 nm) and exhibits strong light scattering in the visible range (400 to 700 nm). This NFSL was applied on top of a transparent active TiO2 layer (TL) forming the photoanode in DSSCs. The performance of the bi-layered photoanode was compared to its analogue, fabricated with commercial scattering layers containing different sizes of nanoparticles. The DSSCs assembled with the NFSL showed an 18% enhancement in power conversion efficiency (PCE) compared to that of DSSCs whose photoanode contained only a TL. This enhancement factor was improved up to 31% when the bi-layered structure was post-treated with TiCl4. The PCE improvement was mainly associated with the light harvesting efficiency within the photoanode because of scattering from the NFSL and increased dye adsorption due to the addition of this top layer. These conclusions were inferred from diffuse reflectance behavior, dye loading measurements, external quantum efficiency and electrochemical properties. Our work demonstrates a promising approach without the requirement of time consuming and complicated procedures for the fabrication of a densely packed 3D nanofiber network scattering layer for diverse energy conversion devices and photocatalytic applications.

Nanofiber-structured TiO2 nanocrystals as a scattering layer in dye-sensitized solar cells

Vomiero, A.
;
2017

Abstract

We developed a scattering layer composed of TiO2 nanocrystals assembled into a densely packed three-dimensional network of nanofibers to localize light within a photoanode used in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The electro-netting approach was applied to obtain polyamide 6 nanofibers with bi-modal diameter distribution, followed by solvothermal synthesis for the coating of TiO2 nanocrystals on the polymer template. The resulting nanofiber-structured scattering layer (NFSL) is composed of TiO2 nanofibers (200–300 nm in diameter) supporting an ultrathin nanofiber network (diameters within 10–50 nm) and exhibits strong light scattering in the visible range (400 to 700 nm). This NFSL was applied on top of a transparent active TiO2 layer (TL) forming the photoanode in DSSCs. The performance of the bi-layered photoanode was compared to its analogue, fabricated with commercial scattering layers containing different sizes of nanoparticles. The DSSCs assembled with the NFSL showed an 18% enhancement in power conversion efficiency (PCE) compared to that of DSSCs whose photoanode contained only a TL. This enhancement factor was improved up to 31% when the bi-layered structure was post-treated with TiCl4. The PCE improvement was mainly associated with the light harvesting efficiency within the photoanode because of scattering from the NFSL and increased dye adsorption due to the addition of this top layer. These conclusions were inferred from diffuse reflectance behavior, dye loading measurements, external quantum efficiency and electrochemical properties. Our work demonstrates a promising approach without the requirement of time consuming and complicated procedures for the fabrication of a densely packed 3D nanofiber network scattering layer for diverse energy conversion devices and photocatalytic applications.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3712236
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