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Soft-template synthesis of high surface area mesoporous titanium dioxide for dye-sensitized solar cells

Selvaraj, Prabhakaran; Roy, Anurag; Ullah, Habib; Sujatha Devi, Parukuttyamma; Tahir, Asif Ali; Mallick, Tapas Kumar; Sundaram, Senthilarasu


Prabhakaran Selvaraj

Anurag Roy

Habib Ullah

Parukuttyamma Sujatha Devi

Asif Ali Tahir

Tapas Kumar Mallick


In the present work, 10 to 14 nm titania nanoparticles with high-packing density are synthesized by the soft-template method using a range of cationic surfactants including cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), and dodecyl trimethylammonium bromide (DTAB). The synthesized nanoparticles are used as a photoanode material in dye solar cells. Density functional theory (DFT) simulations reproduce our experimental results of charge transfer and strong interaction between the TiO2 and N719. N719-TiO2 complex establishes strong electrostatic bonding through H of the dye with the O of TiO2 surface. Solar cell efficiency of 6.08% with 12.63 mA/cm2, 793 mV, and 48.5% for short circuit current density, open circuit voltage, and fill factor, respectively, are obtained under 1 sun illumination for the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) using a film of mesoporous TiO2 synthesized from the SDS surfactant. On the other hand, the 21 nm commercial TiO2 powder (P25) device results in 4.60% efficiency under similar conditions. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopic studies show that the SDS device has lesser charge transport resistance than the other devices because of its higher surface area, packing density, and dye loading capacity. Our results show that employing high packing density-based TiO2 nanoparticles represents a commercially viable approach for highly beneficial photoanode development for future DSSC applications.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 9, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 19, 2018
Publication Date 2019-01
Deposit Date Mar 13, 2023
Print ISSN 0363-907X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 1
Pages 523-534
Keywords B3LYP, DFT, DSSC, EIS, mesoporous TiO2, soft template, surface area