Biomimetic Approach to Solar Cells Based on TiO2 Nanotubes

Report No. ARL-TN-312
Authors: Jan L. Allen; Ivan C. Lee; Jeff Wolfenstine
Date/Pages: April 2008; 16 pages
Abstract: The goal of this research was to explore the use of nanotube titanium dioxide (TiO2) as an electrode material in dye-sensitized solar cells in order to further the development of solar cell technology. TiO2 nanotubes were successfully synthesized by hydrothermal methods, working solar cells were constructed, and comparisons were made between nanospherical TiO2 and nanotubular TiO2. The results showed an increase in the maximum photocurrent density, Jsc, at the expense of a lowered fill factor that led to a lowered cell efficiency. It is suggested that improvements can be realized by the use of aligned TiO2 nanotubes in order to enable a higher packing density of the nanotubes that would lead to a higher photocurrent density per square centimeter, thereby converting a portion of the incoming solar energy into electrical energy.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2008