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Advances in Condensed Matter Physics
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 186375, 18 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/186375
Research Article

Electrochemical Characterization of Nanoporous Nickel Oxide Thin Films Spray-Deposited onto Indium-Doped Tin Oxide for Solar Conversion Scopes

1Department of Industrial Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 344, Rabigh 21911, Saudi Arabia
2School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
3Department of Chemistry, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy

Received 29 April 2015; Accepted 26 July 2015

Academic Editor: Jörg Fink

Copyright © 2015 Muhammad Awais et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Nonstoichiometric nickel oxide () has been deposited as thin film utilizing indium-doped tin oxide as transparent and electrically conductive substrate. Spray deposition of a suspension of nanoparticles in alcoholic medium allowed the preparation of uniform coatings. Sintering of the coatings was conducted at temperatures below 500°C for few minutes. This scalable procedure allowed the attainment of films with mesoporous morphology and reticulated structure. The electrochemical characterization showed that electrodes possess large surface area (about 1000 times larger than their geometrical area). Due to the openness of the morphology, the underlying conductive substrate can be contacted by the electrolyte and undergo redox processes within the potential range in which is electroactive. This requires careful control of the conditions of polarization in order to prevent the simultaneous occurrence of reduction/oxidation processes in both components of the multilayered electrode. The combination of the open structure with optical transparency and elevated electroactivity in organic electrolytes motivated us to analyze the potential of the spray-deposited films as semiconducting cathodes of dye-sensitized solar cells of p-type when erythrosine B was the sensitizer.