Tin oxide (SnO2) hollow spheres modified with titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanowires (NWs) synthesized by sequential hydrothermal reactions were investigated as photoanodes for dye-sensitized solar cells. Not only does the hydrothermal treatment form numerous short TiO2 NWs on the surface of SnO2 spheres, but also passivates the surface of SnO2. Consequently, the specific surface area of the photoanode and dye loading are almost doubled, at the same time the surface defects and charge recombination are both appreciably reduced. As a result, the short-circuit photocurrent density and open-circuit photovoltage both greatly increased. The power conversion efficiency of the solar cells increases from 0.4% to 2.9%.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
B. Oregan and M. Gratzel: A low-cost, high-efficiency solar-cell based on dye-sensitized colloidal TiO2 films. Nature 353, 737 (1991).
Y. Bai, Y.M. Cao, J. Zhang, M. Wang, R.Z. Li, P. Wang, S.M. Zakeeruddin, and M. Gratzel: High-performance dye-sensitized solar cells based on solvent-free electrolytes produced from eutectic melts. Nat. Mater. 7, 626 (2008).
P. Wang, S.M. Zakeeruddin, J.E. Moser, M.K. Nazeeruddin, T. Sekiguchi, and M. Gratzel: Astable quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell with an amphiphilic ruthenium sensitizer and polymer gel electrolyte. Nat. Mater. 2, 402 (2003).
K. Kakiage, Y. Aoyama, T. Yano, K. Oya, J. Fujisawab, and M. Hanaya: Highly-efficient dye-sensitized solar cells with collaborative sensitization by silyl-anchor and carboxy-anchor dyes. Chem. Commun. 51, 15894 (2015).
E. Hendry, M. Koeberg, B. O’Regan, and M. Bonn: Local field effects on electron transport in nanostructured TiO2 revealed by terahertz spectroscopy. Nano Lett. 6, 755 (2006).
K. Zhu, N.R. Neale, A. Miedaner, and A.J. Frank: Enhanced charge-collection efficiencies and light scattering in dye-sensitized solar cells using oriented TiO2 nanotubes arrays. Nano Lett. 7, 69 (2007).
D.H. Chen, F.Z. Huang, Y.B. Cheng, and R.A. Caruso: Mesoporous ana-tase TiO2 beads with high surface areas and controllable pore sizes: a superior candidate for high-performance dye-sensitized solar cells. Adv. Mater. 21, 2206 (2009).
F. Sauvage, D.H. Chen, P. Comte, F.Z. Huang, L.P. Heiniger, Y.B. Cheng, R.A. Caruso, and M. Graetzel: Dye-sensitized solar cells employing a single film of mesoporous TiO2 beads achieve power conversion efficiencies over 10%. ACS Nano 4, 4420 (2010).
K.C. Huang, Y.C. Wang, R.X. Dong, W.C. Tsai, K.W. Tsai, C.C. Wang, Y. H. Chen, R. Vittal, J.J. Lin, and K.C. Ho: A high performance dye-sensitized solar cell with a novel nanocomposite film of PtNP/MWCNT on the counter electrode. J. Mater. Chem. 20, 4067 (2010).
J. Tian and G. Cao: Control of nanostructures and interfaces of metal oxide semiconductors for quantum-dots-sensitized Solar cells. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 6, 1859 (2015).
Q.F. Zhang, C.S. Dandeneau, X.Y. Zhou, and G.Z. Cao: ZnO nanostructures for dye-sensitized solar cells. Adv. Mater. 21, 4087 (2009).
Q.F. Zhang and G.Z. Cao: Nanostructured photoelectrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells. Nano Todays, 91 (2011).
C. Fei, J. Tian, Y. Wang, X. Liu, L. Lv, Z. Zhao, and G. Cao: Improved charge generation and collection in dye-sensitized solar cells with modified photoanode surface. Nano Energy 10, 353 (2014).
Y. Wang, J. Tian, C. Fei, L. Lv, X. Liu, Z. Zhao, and G. Cao: Microwave-assisted synthesis of SnO2 nanosheets photoanodes for dye-sensitized solar cells. J. Phys. Chem. C 118, 25931 (2014).
A.N.M. Green, E. Palomares, S.A. Haque, J.M. Kroon, and J.R. Durrant: Charge transport versus recombination in dye-sensitized solar cells employing nanocrystalline TiO2 and SnO2 films. J. Phys. Chem. B 109, 12525 (2005).
X.X. Xu, J. Zhuang, and X. Wang: SnO2 quantum dots and quantum wires: controllable synthesis, self-assembled 2D architectures, and gas-sensing properties. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 12527 (2008).
D.F. Zhang, L.D. Sun, J.L. Yin, and C.H. Yan: Low-temperature fabrication of highly crystalline SnO2 nanorods. Adv. Mater. 15, 1022 (2003).
Z.W. Pan, Z.R. Dai, and Z.L. Wang: Nanobelts of semiconducting oxides. Science 291, 1947 (2001).
J. Zhang, S. Li, P. Yang, W. Que, and W. Liu: Deposition of transparent TiO2 nanotubes-films via electrophoretic technique for photovoltaic applications. Sci. China Mater. 58, 785 (2015).
Y.L. Wang, X.C. Jiang, and Y.N. Xia: A solution-phase, precursor route to polycrystalline SnO2 nanowires that can be used for gas sensing under ambient conditions. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125, 16176 (2003).
A. Kay and M. Gratzel: Dye-sensitized core-shell nanocrystals: improved efficiency of mesoporous tin oxide electrodes coated with a thin layer of an insulating oxide. Chem. Mater. 14, 2930 (2002).
S. Ito, Y. Makari, T. Kitamura, Y. Wada, and S. Yanagida: Fabrication and characterization of mesoporous SnO2/ZnO-composite electrodes for efficient dye solar cells. J. Mater. Chem. 14, 385 (2004).
N.G. Park, M.G. Kang, K.M. Kim, K.S. Ryu, S.H. Chang, D.K. Kim, J. van de Lagemaat, K.D. Benkstein, and A.J. Frank: Morphological and photo-electrochemical characterization of core-shell nanoparticle films for dye-sensitized solar cells: Zn-O type shell on SnO2 and TiO2 cores. Langmuir 20, 4246 (2004).
H.B. Wu, J.S. Chen, X.W. Lou, and H.H. Hng: Synthesis of SnO2 hierarchical structures assembled from nanosheets and their lithium storage properties. J. Phys. Chem. C 115, 24605 (2011).
M. Law, L.E. Greene, J.C. Johnson, R. Saykally, and P.D. Yang: Nanowire dye-sensitized solar cells. Nat Mater. 4, 455 (2005).
Y. Ohsaki, N. Masaki, T. Kitamura, Y. Wada, T. Okamoto, T. Sekino, K. Niihara, and S. Yanagida: Dye-sensitized TiO2 nanotube solar cells: fabrication and electronic characterization. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 7, 4157 (2005).
B. Tan and Y.Y. Wu: Dye-sensitized solar cells based on anatase TiO2 nanoparticle/nanowire composites. J. Phys. Chem. 6110, 15932 (2006).
J.T. Jiu, S. Isoda, F.M. Wang, and M. Adachi: Dye-sensitized solar cells based on a single-crystalline Ti02 nanorod film. J. Phys. Chem. B 110, 2087 (2006).
L. Zhao, J.G. Yu, J.J. Fan, P.C. Zhai, and S.M. Wang: Dye-sensitized solar cells based on ordered titanate nanotube films fabricated by electrophoretic deposition method. Electrochem. Commun. 11, 2052 (2009).
X.T. Yin, W.X. Que, D. Fei, H.X. Xie, and Z.L. He: Effect of TiO2 shell layer prepared by wet-chemical method on the photovoltaic performance of ZnO nanowires arrays-based quantum dot sensitized solar cells. Electrochim. Acta 99, 204 (2013).
H. Wang, B. Li, J. Gao, M. Tang, H.B. Feng, J.H. Li, and L. Guo: SnO2 hollow nanospheres enclosed by single crystalline nanoparticles for highly efficient dye-sensitized solar cells. CrystEngComm 14, 5177 (2012).
W.Q. Wu, Y.F. Xu, H.S. Rao, HI. Feng, C.Y. Su, and D.B. Kuang: Constructing 3D branched nanowire coated macroporous metal oxide electrodes with homogeneous or heterogeneous compositions for efficient solar cells. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 53, 4816 (2014).
W.Q. Wu, B.X. Lei, H.S. Rao, Y.F. Xu, Y.F. Wang, C.Y. Su, and D.B. Kuang: Hydrothermal fabrication of hierarchically anatase TiO2 nanowire arrays on FTO glass for dye-sensitized solar cells. Sci. Rep. 3 (2013).
P. Patnaik: Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals (McGraw-Hill, New York, 2003).
S.H. Ahn, D.J. Kim, W.S. Chi, and J.H. Kim: Hierarchical double-shell nanostructures of TiO2 nanosheets on SnO2 hollow spheres for high-efficiency, solid-state, dye-sensitized solar cells. Adv. Funct. Mater. 24, 5037 (2014).
This work was supported by the “thousands talents” program for pioneer researcher and his innovation team, China. This work was also supported by the National Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 51374029 and 91433102), Program for New Century Excellent Talents in the University (grant number NCET-13-0668), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (grant number FRF-TP-14-008C1), and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (grant number 2014M550675).
About this article
Cite this article
Wang, Y., Fei, C., Zhang, R. et al. Titanium dioxide nanowires modified tin oxide hollow spheres for dye-sensitized solar cells. MRS Communications 6, 226–233 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1557/mrc.2016.34