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Lucas Splingaire
Mechanical Engineering Department, Bradley University, Peoria, IL, USA

Udo Schnupf
Mund-Lagowski Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Bradley University, Peoria, IL, USA

Kazuhiro Manseki
Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan.

Takashi Sugiura
Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan.

Saeid Vafaei
Mechanical Engineering Department, Bradley University, Peoria, IL, USA

DOI: 10.1615/TFEC2020.mns.032013
pages 115-123


In dye-sensitized solar cells, it has been observed that dyes have a higher affinity for anatase TiO2 nanoparticles in photoelectrodes. It has also been shown that having the TiO2 semiconductor layer in the solar cell allows for more favorable electron transport. Therefore, having a layer(s) of anatase TiO2 nanoparticles in a solar cell will increase the charge separation efficiency of the device. While a great amount of research has been done on the creation of TiO2 nanoparticles and their effect on the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells, not much is known of the effects of low-temperature synthesis of semiconductor TiO2 nanoparticles on these solar cells. In addition, most methods of producing anatase TiO2 nanoparticles require the use of a hightemperature oven for the purpose of a hydrothermal reaction. The purpose of this research is to discover a method of obtaining porous TiO2 semiconductor films comprised of anatase TiO2 nanocrystals using lowtemperature synthesis of TiO2 without hydrothermal reactions of the TiO2 nanoparticles and to observe their characteristics. The TiO2 semiconductor nanoparticles were synthesized at 40 °C using TiCl4 and dimethylformamide in an aqueous solution. A method of creating a reaction mixture to produce the semiconductor nanoparticles was slightly varied four times, and the results of each trial were investigated. This method involved the creation of the TiO2 nanoparticles through a low-temperature reaction and dry-freezing the nanoparticles to remove moisture and produce a powder that could be resuspended. Once the TiO2 nanoparticles were obtained using each method, their characteristics, including size and shape, were observed under a transmission electron microscope and X-ray diffraction.

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