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Frontiers of Optoelectronics

Front. Optoelectron.    2018, Vol. 11 Issue (3) : 285-290
ZnO/Nb2O5 core/shell nanorod array photoanode for dye-sensitized solar cells
Xiaoyan HU, Heng WANG()
College of New Energy and Electronic Engineering, Yancheng Teachers University, Yancheng 224002, China
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In this paper, ZnO/Nb2O5 core/shell nanorod arrays were synthesized and used as photoanodes for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). We first synthesized ZnO nanorod array on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) glasses by a hydrothermal method, and then ZnO/Nb2O5 core/shell nanorod array was directly obtained via solvothermal reaction in NbCl5 solution. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) images revealed that the ZnO nanorods were uniformly wrapped by Nb2O5 shell layers with a thickness of 30–40 nm. Photovoltaic characterization showed that the device based on ZnO/Nb2O5 core/shell nanorod photoanode exhibited an improved efficiency of 1.995%, which was much higher than the efficiency of 0.856% for the DSSC based on bare ZnO nanorod photoanode. This proved that the photovoltaic performance of ZnO nanorods could be improved by wrapping with Nb2O5 shells.

Keywords ZnO      Nb2O5      core/shell nanorods      solvothermal      dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC)     
Corresponding Authors: Heng WANG   
Just Accepted Date: 15 March 2018   Online First Date: 09 April 2018    Issue Date: 31 August 2018
 Cite this article:   
Xiaoyan HU,Heng WANG. ZnO/Nb2O5 core/shell nanorod array photoanode for dye-sensitized solar cells[J]. Front. Optoelectron., 2018, 11(3): 285-290.
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Fig.1  Schematic diagram of the ZnO/Nb2O5 core/shell nanorod arrays
Fig.2  Top-view (a) and tilted-view SEM images (b) of bare ZnO nanorod arrays. The top-view (c) and tilted-view SEM images (d) of ZnO/Nb2O5 core/shell nanorod arrays obtained in high concentration NbCl5 solution (0.270 g NbCl5)
Fig.3  Top-view SEM images of ZnO/Nb2O5 core/shell nanorod arrays synthesized in low concentration NbCl5 solution (0.135 g NbCl5): (a) low and (b) high magnification. The top-view SEM images of ZnO/Nb2O5 core/shell nanorod arrays synthesized in high concentration NbCl5 solution (0.270 g NbCl5): (c) low and (d) high magnification
Fig.4  (a) TEM image of ZnO/Nb2O5 core/shell nanorod and (b) the corresponding SAED pattern obtained from the circle area in Fig. 4(a)
Fig.5  Optical absorption spectra of ZnO and ZnO/Nb2O5 nanorod arrays
Fig.6  Photocurrent density-voltage curves of DSSCs based on the photoanodes of bare ZnO nanorods, ZnO/Nb2O5(1) core/shell nanorod (0.135 g NbCl5) and ZnO/Nb2O5(2) core/shell nanorod (0.270 g NbCl5)
photoanode Jsc/(mA·cm−2) Voc/mV FF PCE/%
ZnO 4.46 537 0.357 0.856%
ZnO/Nb2O5(1) 5.52 569 0.512 1.609%
ZnO/Nb2O5(2) 5.92 569 0.592 1.995%
Tab.1  Photovoltaic performance of DSSCs based on photoanodes of ZnO nanorods, ZnO/Nb2O5(1) nanorod and ZnO/Nb2O5(2) nanorod under AM1.5 conditions 100 mW·cm−2. The length of three nanorods in the devices are all around 5 µm
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