An organized mesoporous TiO2 interfacial layer (IL) with high porosity and good interconnectivity is prepared using a low-cost amphiphilic poly(vinyl alcohol)–poly(methyl methacrylate) (PVA–PMMA) comb copolymer template. Upon adding the Ti precursor, the absorption band of the PVA hydroxyl groups largely shift from 3305 to 3213 cm− 1, and the average distance between the isolated PMMA domains increases from 53.7 to 55.6 nm, indicating selective interactions of the Ti precursor with the hydrophilic PVA main chains. The mesoporous TiO2 IL with low roughness and high transparency enhances the light penetration into the photoanode and interfacial adhesion between the nanocrystalline TiO2 and fluorine-doped tin oxide glass, improving the photocurrent of the fabricated dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The efficiency of the DSSC using the TiO2 IL templated by PVA–PMMA with a solid polymer electrolyte reaches 5.5%, which is higher than those of DSSCs using TiO2 ILs templated by PVA (4.9%), PMMA (4.2%), or no template (5.0%), indicating the effectiveness of PVA–PMMA comb copolymer as the template.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge the financial support provided by a National Research Foundation (NRF) grant through the Center for Advanced Meta-Materials (CAMM) (2014M3A6B3063716) and the Human Resources Program in Energy Technology (20154010200810) of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP). D. J. Kim acknowledges the financial support provided by the 2016 Yonsei University Research Fund (Post Doc. Researcher Supporting Program, project no.: 2016-12-0009).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics