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Nanomaterials 2016, 6(6), 117; doi:10.3390/nano6060117

Ag Nanoparticle–Functionalized Open-Ended Freestanding TiO2 Nanotube Arrays with a Scattering Layer for Improved Energy Conversion Efficiency in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

1
Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Korea
2
Department of Chemistry, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-747, Korea
These authors contribute equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guanying Chen, Zhijun Ning and Hans Agren
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Solar Cells)
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Abstract

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) were fabricated using open-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube arrays functionalized with Ag nanoparticles (NPs) in the channel to create a plasmonic effect, and then coated with large TiO2 NPs to create a scattering effect in order to improve energy conversion efficiency. Compared to closed-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube array–based DSSCs without Ag or large TiO2 NPs, the energy conversion efficiency of closed-ended DSSCs improved by 9.21% (actual efficiency, from 5.86% to 6.40%) with Ag NPs, 6.48% (actual efficiency, from 5.86% to 6.24%) with TiO2 NPs, and 14.50% (actual efficiency, from 5.86% to 6.71%) with both Ag NPs and TiO2 NPs. By introducing Ag NPs and/or large TiO2 NPs to open-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube array–based DSSCs, the energy conversion efficiency was improved by 9.15% (actual efficiency, from 6.12% to 6.68%) with Ag NPs and 8.17% (actual efficiency, from 6.12% to 6.62%) with TiO2 NPs, and by 15.20% (actual efficiency, from 6.12% to 7.05%) with both Ag NPs and TiO2 NPs. Moreover, compared to closed-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube arrays, the energy conversion efficiency of open-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube arrays increased from 6.71% to 7.05%. We demonstrate that each component—Ag NPs, TiO2 NPs, and open-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube arrays—enhanced the energy conversion efficiency, and the use of a combination of all components in DSSCs resulted in the highest energy conversion efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: open-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube arrays; dye-sensitized solar cells; plasmonic; scattering; anodization open-ended freestanding TiO2 nanotube arrays; dye-sensitized solar cells; plasmonic; scattering; anodization
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rho, W.-Y.; Chun, M.-H.; Kim, H.-S.; Kim, H.-M.; Suh, J.S.; Jun, B.-H. Ag Nanoparticle–Functionalized Open-Ended Freestanding TiO2 Nanotube Arrays with a Scattering Layer for Improved Energy Conversion Efficiency in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells. Nanomaterials 2016, 6, 117.

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