TiO2 terpineol-based pastes with nanorods (NRs) of over 25 μm thickness have been prepared for the photoactive electrodes of the dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The NRs, with a length of approximately 80 nm and an aspect ratio of about 3, are made by a two-step hydrothermal process. They have the single crystalline anatase structure and can be dispersed well in water and ethanol. With a high thermal stability and larger surface area (47.2 m2 g- 1) than commercial TiO2 particles (P25, 39.1 m2 g- 1), the well-dispersed anatase NR films with aggregate-free morphology are transparent. For the photocurrent-voltage measurements, the NR cell exhibits high short-circuit photocurrent (J SC) under 1 Sun AM 1.5 simulated sunlight due to the higher surface area and transmittance. The open-circuit voltage (VOC) of NR films is not obviously reduced with incremental thickness, which results from the one-dimensional single crystalline structure of NR due to less surface defects. As compared with the P25 cell, DSSCs made with NRs have a higher fill factor (FF) because of the uniform void spaces. An enhancement of conversion efficiency from 4.88% for P25 to 5.67% for NR is achieved. The P25 particles are incorporated in NR films as light-scattering centers, while the R1P1 containing 50 wt.% of P25 has a high VOC and FF as compared with P25, but the JSC is still lower than that of the NR.
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