Nanofibrous TiO2 improving performance of mesoporous TiO2 electrode in dye-sensitized solar cell
A method of direct coating of conducting glass by electrospinning was developed. Electrospun fibrous TiO2 consisting of closely packed anatase nanocrystals of 40-50 nm in size was incorporated into mesoporous TiO2 thin film stabilized by phosphorus. The mesoporous framework formed by walls with 5-6 nm TiO2 nanocrystals surrounding 20 nm mesopores exhibits extreme porosity and consequently limited number of necking points. TiO2 with fibrous morphology was found to solidify mesoporous titania and to be beneficial for the performance of corresponding photoanode in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC). Obviously, its wire-like structure suitably interconnects mesoporous network and thus increases the electron collection efficiency from the TiO2 layer to the F-doped SnO2 electrode. The solar conversion efficiency of a DSC employing optimized photoanode consisting of nanocrystalline fibrous bottom layer, four mesoporous layers, and one nanocrystalline anatase scattering top layer sensitized with the N945 dye reached 5.35 %. This represents an improvement of about 9 % compared to the solar conversion efficiency of a DSC employing purely mesoporous TiO2 layer prepared by means of phosphorus doping (5.05 %).