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Proceedings Paper

Rapid synthesis of nanostructured metal-oxide films for solar energy applications by a flame aerosol reactor (FLAR)
Author(s): Elijah Thimsen; Neema Rastgar; Pratim Biswas
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Paper Abstract

Titanium dioxide films are a critical component of many next-generation low cost solar cells. Film morphology has been identified as an efficiency-limiting property. A gas phase, single-step, rapid, atmospheric-pressure process to synthesize TiO2 films with controlled morphology is reported. The process is based on a flame aerosol reactor (FLAR). Two different morphologies were synthesized for this report, granular and columnar. The granular morphology consists of nanoparticles aggregated into fractal structures on the substrate, and is characterized by high surface area and poor electronic properties. The columnar morphology is highly crystalline; composed of 1D structures oriented normal to the substrate, characterized by lower surface area and superior electronic properties. Films with both morphologies are applied to a hydrogen-producing photo-watersplitting cell and a photovoltaic dye-sensitized solar cell. For watersplitting, the columnar morphology outperforms the granular by almost 2 orders of magnitude, achieving a uv-light to hydrogen conversion efficiency of about 11%. In contrast, for the dye-sensitized solar cell, the granular morphology outperforms the columnar, due to enhanced dye absorption arising from the larger TiO2 surface area.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 September 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6650, Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology II, 66500G (11 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.733982
Show Author Affiliations
Elijah Thimsen, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Neema Rastgar, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Pratim Biswas, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6650:
Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology II
Jinghua Guo, Editor(s)

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