Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells with Vertically Aligned TiO2 Nanowire Arrays Grown on Carbon Fibers

Authors

  • Xin Cai,

    1. Department of Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 10-62759799
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  • Hongwei Wu,

    1. Department of Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 10-62759799
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  • Shaocong Hou,

    1. Department of Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 10-62759799
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  • Ming Peng,

    1. Department of Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 10-62759799
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  • Xiao Yu,

    1. Department of Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 10-62759799
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  • Prof. Dechun Zou

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 10-62759799
    • Department of Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 10-62759799

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Abstract

One-dimensional semiconductor TiO2 nanowires (TNWs) have received widespread attention from solar cell and related optoelectronics scientists. The controllable synthesis of ordered TNW arrays on arbitrary substrates would benefit both fundamental research and practical applications. Herein, vertically aligned TNW arrays in situ grown on carbon fiber (CF) substrates through a facile, controllable, and seed-assisted thermal process is presented. Also, hierarchical TiO2-nanoparticle/TNW arrays were prepared that favor both the dye loading and depressed charge recombination of the CF/TNW photoanode. An impressive conversion efficiency of 2.48 % (under air mass 1.5 global illumination) and an apparent efficiency of 4.18 % (with a diffuse board) due to the 3D light harvesting of the wire solar cell were achieved. Moreover, efficient and inexpensive wire solar cells made from all-CF electrodes and completely flexible CF-based wire solar cells were demonstrated, taking into account actual application requirements. This work may provide an intriguing avenue for the pursuit of lightweight, cost-effective, and high-performance flexible/wearable solar cells.

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