TiO2 nanoparticles with anatase/rutile mixed phase and <100 nm in size were surface-modified using hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and sulfosuccinic acid (SA), which can coordinate to the TiO2 precursor, titanium(iv) isopropoxide (TTIP). The HEMA in TiO2-HEMA nanoparticles underwent a graft/crosslink polymerization to poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA), i.e. TiO2-PHEMA. Following the application of a sol-gel process with TTIP, 3-dimensional (3D) nanostructured TiO2 photoelectrodes with interconnectivity, large surface area and bimodal pores were successfully obtained. The energy conversion efficiency of a polymer electrolyte dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) fabricated with TiO 2-PHEMA/TTIP photoelectrode reached 3.5% at 100 mW cm-2, which was much higher than those of pristine TiO2 (1.4%), TiO 2/TTIP (1.6%) and TiO2-HEMA/TTIP (2.0%) photoelectrodes. The higher cell performance of TiO2-PHEMA/TTIP is due to enhanced light harvesting, reduced charge recombination and excellent penetration of polymer electrolytes into the TiO2 pores.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Chemistry