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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2758294, 13 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2758294
Research Article

Preparations, Characterizations, and a Comparative Study on Photovoltaic Performance of Two Different Types of Graphene/TiO2 Nanocomposites Photoelectrodes

1Nanotec-KMUTT Center of Excellence on Hybrid Nanomaterials for Alternative Energy (HyNAE), School of Energy, Environment and Materials, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
2Division of Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi, Klong 6, Thanyaburi, Pathum Thani 12110, Thailand
3Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Research and Engineering Center, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok 10140, Thailand

Correspondence should be addressed to Jatuphorn Wootthikanokkhan

Received 5 September 2016; Revised 15 December 2016; Accepted 10 January 2017; Published 21 March 2017

Academic Editor: Xuping Sun

Copyright © 2017 Uea-aree Kanta 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

This research work undertook a comparative study of the promoting effects of graphene in TiO2 photoanodes. The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of the types and concentration of reduced graphene oxides (rGO) on structure properties and the photovoltaic performance of TiO2 based electrodes. Graphene oxide (GO) was prepared by using modified Hammer’s method. Next, GO was reduced by using two different approaches, which were the chemical reduction with vitamin C and thermal reduction. The latter approach was also carried out in situ during the fabrication and heat treatment processes of the dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). From the results, it was found that the photovoltaic performance of the DSSCs containing the GO/TiO2 electrode, in which the GO phase experienced an in situ thermal reduction, was superior to those containing rGO/TiO2. It was also found that the power conversion efficiency of the DSSCs changed with the concentration of graphene in a nonlinear fashion. The optimum concentrations of graphene, corresponding to the highest PCE values of the GO/TiO2 based DSSC (3.69%) and that of the rGO/TiO2 based cell (2.90%), were 0.01 wt% and 0.03 wt%, respectively.