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Electrospun Nanofiber Mats with Embedded Non-Sintered TiO2 for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs)

1
Faculty of Engineering and Mathematics, ITES, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, 33619 Bielefeld, Germany
2
Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Sfax, Sfax 3038, Tunisia
3
Silesian University of Technology, Institute of Physics–Center for Science and Education, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
4
InovisCoat GmbH, 40789 Monheim am Rhein, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fibers 2019, 7(7), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7070060
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 29 June 2019 / Accepted: 1 July 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Fibers for Next-Generation Flexible Technologies)
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Abstract

TiO2 is a semiconductor that is commonly used in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). However, the necessity of sintering the TiO2 layer is usually problematic due to the desired temperatures of typically 500 °C in cells that are prepared on polymeric or textile electrodes. This is why textile-based DSSCs often use metal fibers or metallic woven fabrics as front electrodes on which the TiO2 is coated. Alternatively, several research groups investigate the possibilities to reduce the necessary sintering temperatures by chemical or other pre-treatments of the TiO2. Here, we report on a simple method to avoid the sintering step by using a nanofiber mat as a matrix embedding TiO2 nanoparticles. The TiO2 layer can be dyed with natural dyes, resulting in a similar bathochromic shift of the UV/Vis spectrum, as it is known from sintered TiO2 on glass substrates, which indicates an equivalent chemical bonding. Our results indicate a new possibility for producing textile-based DSSCs with TiO2, even on textile fabrics that are not high-temperature resistant. View Full-Text
Keywords: TiO2; dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC); textile-based DSSC; electrospinning; nanofiber mat; polyacrylonitrile (PAN) TiO2; dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC); textile-based DSSC; electrospinning; nanofiber mat; polyacrylonitrile (PAN)
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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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Mamun, A.; Trabelsi, M.; Klöcker, M.; Sabantina, L.; Großerhode, C.; Blachowicz, T.; Grötsch, G.; Cornelißen, C.; Streitenberger, A.; Ehrmann, A. Electrospun Nanofiber Mats with Embedded Non-Sintered TiO2 for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs). Fibers 2019, 7, 60.

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