June 3, 2011
The use of TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) and nanoparticles (NPs) in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) has been widely investigated on an individual basis. Typically, NTs offer a more direct path for electron collection, while NPs provide a larger surface area and higher dye-loading capacity. By combining the merits of NTs and NPs, researchers have demonstrated that it's possible to boost the overall light conversion efficiency of DSSCs by factors of more than 100% when directly compared with bare NT-based devices.
Scientists from the Nano Tech Center at Texas Tech University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, both in the US, have teamed up to study TiO2 nanostructured DSSCs. The group used hydrothermal synthesis to modify the surface morphology of the NTs by infiltrating NPs onto the walls of the structure.