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Open Access Nano Express

Investigation into Photoconductivity in Single CNF/TiO2-Dye Core–Shell Nanowire Devices

Zhuangzhi Li1, Caitlin Rochford2*, F Javier Baca3, Jianwei Liu4, Jun Li4 and Judy Wu2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physics, Hebei Normal University and Hebei Advanced Thin Film Laboratory, 050016, Shijiazhuang, People’s Republic of China

2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 66045, USA

3 Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, 87545, USA

4 Department of Chemistry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, 66506, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2010, 5:1480-1486  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9665-3

Published: 15 June 2010

Abstract

A vertically aligned carbon nanofiber array coated with anatase TiO2 (CNF/TiO2) is an attractive possible replacement for the sintered TiO2 nanoparticle network in the original dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) design due to the potential for improved charge transport and reduced charge recombination. Although the reported efficiency of 1.1% in these modified DSSC’s is encouraging, the limiting factors must be identified before a higher efficiency can be obtained. This work employs a single nanowire approach to investigate the charge transport in individual CNF/TiO2 core–shell nanowires with adsorbed N719 dye molecules in dark and under illumination. The results shed light on the role of charge traps and dye adsorption on the (photo) conductivity of nanocrystalline TiO2 CNF’s as related to dye-sensitized solar cell performance.

Keywords:
Photoconductivity; Nanowire; Titanium dioxide; Dye-sensitized solar cell; Core–shell