Synthesis of electrospun 1D-photoanode nanocomposite based on electrospinning followed by hydrothermal treatment for highly efficient liquid-junction photovoltaic devices

  • Ibrahim M. A. Mohamed
  • Van-Duong Dao
  • Changkun LiuEmail author
  • Nasser A. M. Barakat
  • Ho-Suk Choi
Original Paper:Sol-gel and hybrid materials for energy, environment and building applications


Electrospinning has received much interest as a versatile fabrication technique for 1D (one-dimension) nanomaterials. This study introduces a novel 1D nanomaterial, N&GO@Zr/TiO2, which was synthesized through electrospinning followed by hydrothermal methods and applied as a photoanode in low-cost dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). The prepared material was characterized via FESEM, EDX mapping, XRD, and XPS analyses. After the hydrothermal step, there was an enhancement in the crystallinity, which is attributed to the high growth rate of the anatase crystallites. Then, the performance of DSCs incorporating the photoanodes was investigated by JV curves, IPCE, dye loading, and EIS, and a high photoresponse efficiency of 5.3% was obtained, which is higher than the efficiencies for cells based on nitrogen-doped Zr/TiO2 nanofibers (NFs) (5.0%) and GO@Zr/TiO2 NFs (5.1%). Besides the crystallinity enhancement, Zr doping can affect the electronic properties of the pristine TiO2 via the replacement of Ti4+ by Zr4+, which has different size and electronegativity. Hence, this composite was used as a substrate for the photoanode after GO&N doping. GO can improve the electron transport via increasing the photoanode conductivity, which is demonstrated via impedance studies, and N can increase the current produced via the enhancement of dye loading, which is studied through UV–visible spectroscopy. This study introduces the preparation of the novel nanocomposites toward highly efficient low-cost liquid-junction photovoltaics.


  • Novel 1D-nanomaterial N&GO@Zr/TiO2 was synthesized through electrospinning followed by hydrothermal methods.

  • N&GO@Zr/TiO2 nanocomposite is introduced for improving photovoltaic performance.

  • An efficiency of 5.25% was obtained with the device using the developed working electrode.

  • The photovoltaic device using the synthesized material shows higher electrical conductivity and long electron lifetime.


Nanocomposites Solar energy materials Photoanode Electrospinning 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21777105) and Shenzhen Science and Technology Foundations (JCYJ20180507182040308; JCYJ20170818101137960). This research is also funded by the Vietnam National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) under grant number 103.02-2018.27.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ibrahim M. A. Mohamed
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Van-Duong Dao
    • 4
    • 5
  • Changkun Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nasser A. M. Barakat
    • 6
  • Ho-Suk Choi
    • 7
  1. 1.College of Chemistry and Environmental EngineeringShenzhen UniversityShenzhenPR China
  2. 2.Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecological RemediationShenzhen UniversityShenzhenPR China
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceSohag UniversitySohagEgypt
  4. 4.Faculty of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental EngineeringPhenikaa UniversityHanoiVietnam
  5. 5.Phenikaa Research and Technology Institute (PRATI)A&A Green Phoenix GroupHanoiVietnam
  6. 6.Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of EngineeringEl-Minia UniversityEl-MiniaEgypt
  7. 7.Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied ChemistryChungnam National UniversityDaejeonSouth Korea

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