Peachlike rutile TiO2 microsphere films were successfully produced on transparent conducting fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate via a facile, one-pot chemical bath route at low temperature (T = 80-85 C) by introducing polyethylene glycol (PEG) as steric dispersant. The formation of TiO2 microspheres composed of nanoneedles was attributed to the acidic medium for the growth of 1D needle-shaped building blocks where the steric interaction of PEG reduced the aggregation of TiO2 nanoneedles and the Ostwald ripening process. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) assembled by employing these complex rutile TiO2 microspheres as photoanodes exhibited a light-to-electricity conversion efficiency of 2.55%. It was further improved to a considerably high efficiency of 5.25% upon a series of post-treatments (i.e., calcination, TiCl4 treatment, and O 2 plasma exposure) as a direct consequence of the well-crystallized TiO2 for fast electron transport, the enhanced capacity of dye loading, the effective light scattering, and trapping from microstructures.
- chemical bath method
- dye-sensitized solar cells
- light-to-electricity conversion efficiency
- low-temperature synthesis
- rutile TiO microspheres