TiO2–SrTiO3 composite photoanode: effect of strontium precursor concentration on the performance of dye-sensitized solar cells
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We report herein a detailed study on the influence of Sr precursor (strontium chloride hexahydrate) concentration on the properties of TiO2–SrTiO3 composite film and dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) performance. TiO2–SrTiO3 composite film has successfully been fabricated by two steps of LPD-hydrothermal method for which the prepared TiO2 acted as a Ti source for SrTiO3. Besides anatase, SrTiO3 phase with cubic structure is detected from the XRD spectra confirming the formation of TiO2–SrTiO3 film composite. The detection of the peak of Sr element from EDX and Raman shift at the peak of 436 cm− 1, 554 cm− 1 and 799 cm− 1 further confirms the existence of the SrTiO3 coated on TiO2. TiO2–SrTiO3 composite film with Sr precursor optimum concentration 0.1 M depicts the highest performance of the DSSC with the η = 1.71 ± 0.21%, Voc = 0.58 ± 0.22 V and Jsc = 9.1 ± 2.1 mA/cm2 due to superior lights scattering and highest dye loading. Facile charge transfer was observed by increasing the Sr content due to inhibition of recombination process. Combining TiO2 with SrTiO3 in composite form at the optimum Sr precursor concentration is found as an effective way of enhancing the efficiency of the device.
The authors would like to acknowledge Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) for providing a financial support through a research grant GUP-2016-013 and GP-K020131 to carry out this work. The authors also want to thank Centre for Research and Innovation Management (CRIM) UKM for the FESEM, EDX, Raman and XRD facilities.
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