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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017, Article ID 1821837, 8 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1821837
Research Article

Improving the Efficiency of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells by Growing Longer ZnO Nanorods on TiO2 Photoanodes

School of Mathematics and Physics, Changzhou University, Jiangsu 213164, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yuan Ming Huang; moc.621@dnalsinahsgnod

Received 5 March 2017; Accepted 6 June 2017; Published 9 July 2017

Academic Editor: Zafar Iqbal

Copyright © 2017 Bao-gai Zhai 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

By increasing the temperature of hydrothermal reactions from 70 to 100°C, vertically aligned ZnO nanorods were grown on the TiO2 thin film in the photoanode of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) as the blocking layer to reduce the electron back recombinations at the TiO2/electrolyte interfaces. The length effects of ZnO nanorods on the photovoltaic performances of TiO2 based DSSCs were investigated by means of scanning electron microscope, X-ray diffractometer, photoluminescence spectrophotometer, and the photocurrent-voltage measurement. Under the illumination of 100 mW/cm2, the power conversion efficiency of DSSC with ZnO nanorods decorated TiO2 thin film as its photoanode can be increased nearly fourfold from 0.27% to 1.30% as the length of ZnO nanorods increases from 300 to 1600 nm. The enhanced efficiency of DSSC with ZnO nanorods decorated TiO2 thin film as the photoanode can be attributed to the larger surface area and the lower defect density in longer ZnO nanorods, which are in favor of more dye adsorption and more efficient transport in the photoanode.