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Asymmetric ZnO Panel-Like Hierarchical Architectures with Highly Interconnected Pathways for Free-Electron Transport and Photovoltaic Improvements

Authors

  • Dr. Yantao Shi,

    1. Department of Physics and the William Mong Institute of Nano Science and Technology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, (P. R. China), Fax: (+852) 23581652
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Chao Zhu,

    1. Department of Physics and the William Mong Institute of Nano Science and Technology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, (P. R. China), Fax: (+852) 23581652
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Lin Wang,

    1. Department of Physics and the William Mong Institute of Nano Science and Technology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, (P. R. China), Fax: (+852) 23581652
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  • Wei Li,

    1. Department of Physics and the William Mong Institute of Nano Science and Technology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, (P. R. China), Fax: (+852) 23581652
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  • Prof. Kwok Kwong Fung,

    1. Department of Physics and the William Mong Institute of Nano Science and Technology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, (P. R. China), Fax: (+852) 23581652
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  • Prof. Ning Wang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physics and the William Mong Institute of Nano Science and Technology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, (P. R. China), Fax: (+852) 23581652
    • Department of Physics and the William Mong Institute of Nano Science and Technology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, (P. R. China), Fax: (+852) 23581652
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Abstract

Through a rapid and template-free precipitation approach, we synthesized an asymmetric panel-like ZnO hierarchical architecture (PHA) for photoanodes of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). The two sides of the PHA are constructed differently using densely interconnected, mono-crystalline and ultrathin ZnO nanosheets. By mixing these PHAs with ZnO nanoparticles (NPs), we developed an effective and feasible strategy to improve the electrical transport and photovoltaic performance of the composite photoanodes of DSCs. The highly crystallized and interconnected ZnO nanosheets largely minimized the total grain boundaries within the composite photoanodes and thus served as direct pathways for the transport and effective collection of free electrons. Through low-temperature (200 °C) annealing, these novel composite photoanodes achieved high conversion efficiencies of up to 5.59 % for ZnO-based quasi-solid DSCs.

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