Development of block copolymer-templated crack-free mesoporous anatase-TiO2 film: tailoring sol–gel and EISA processing parameters and photovoltaic characteristics

N. Mozaffari, M. R. Mohammadi, M. A. Faghihi Sani

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A new facile strategy for preparation of mesoporous anatase-TiO2 films by a combination of sol–gel and evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) processes aided by tri-block Pluronic F127 is reported. Two major parameters, sol preparation and EISA processing parameters, are identified for preparation of mesoporous crack-free films with desired thickness. The mesoporous crack-free films with thickness of 650 nm can be obtained with low water: precursor molar ratio (e.g., 2.5:1) under aging in 10 % relative humidity for 72 h at the low temperature of 5 °C. Although template: precursor molar ratio and annealing temperature show little influence on preparation of crack-free films the optimum values are determined 0.005:1 and 350 °C, respectively. Reducing the aging temperature down to 5 °C not only hinders the anatase-to-rutile phase transformation but also retards crystal growth. Furthermore, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller and Barrett–Joyner–Helenda results show that the isotherm corresponding to synthesized powders represents a combination of types II and IV corresponding to mesoporous materials with average pore size in the range 5.8–8.8 nm and BET surface area of 72–99 m2/g. UV–Vis absorption spectrum of prepared mesoporous TiO2 film displays a blue shift relative to that of bulk TiO2 due to the quantum size effect. The mesoporous TiO2 film prepared under optimized conditions has good microstructural and optical properties for dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) applications. The DSSC made of optimized mesoporous TiO2 film shows cell efficiency and short circuit current density of 6.31 % 15.23 mA/cm2, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1553
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

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