TitleHydrothermal growth and characterization of titanium dioxide nanostructures for use in dye sensitized solar cells
NameSorge, Judith D. (author), Birnie, III, Dunbar (chair), Klein, Lisa (internal member), Cosandey, Frederic (internal member), Chhowalla, Manish (internal member), Bartynski, Robert (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectMaterials Science and Engineering,
Dye-sensitized solar cells,
Renewable energy sources
DescriptionAs the world's energy needs continue to grow, next generation photovoltaic cells are in high demand because they offer the possibility of an inexpensive alternative to current energy production techniques. Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC's), utilize common materials and low cost commercialization techniques, which make them a compelling choice for research in this area. This research focuses on the titanium dioxide coating, which transfers electrons from the photoactive dye to the electrode. 3-4% efficient DSSC's using doctor bladed titanium dioxide coatings with a specific surface area of 55-60m2/g have been demonstrated in our laboratory. To enhance the efficiency of these cells, both the surface area and the electron conduction of the titania layer must be optimized. This has been done by utilizing high aspect ratio nanoparticles of titania instead of mesoporous layers formed with spherical particles. Anodization of titanium metal or anodic alumina membrane templating are common ways to produce nanorods, but involve complex processes leading toward expensive commercialization. This research instead focuses on the hydrothermal growth of nanofibrous titania on a titanium metal substrate, removing the need for dispersion and deposition procedures as well as using a low temperature processing method. Depending upon the formulation utilized, a variety of structures can be produced, from thick carpets of nanofiber strands to large platelets. The composition and morphology of the products have been characterized with respect to the growth conditions using electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. The compositional analysis is used to investigate the complicated reaction mechanisms in the system. Coatings of titania nanotubes were then tested in the DSSC's, as were those with the titanium metal substrate acting as the photo anode. Modeling the geometric parameters of the different pore structures of the coatings helps us to understand the advantages afforded by these new cells.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 164-172)
Noteby Judith D. Sorge
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.