Pore volume and distribution regulation of highly nanoporous titanium dioxide nanofibers and their photovoltaic properties

J Colloid Interface Sci. 2017 Mar 15;490:74-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2016.11.035. Epub 2016 Nov 9.


By combining the initial solvent volatilization and ultimate calcination to form highly nanoporous polystyrene/titanium dioxide (PS/TiO2) composite nanofibrous mats were fabricated via electrospinning, then the PS was removed afterwards by calcination, and finally porous TiO2 nanofibers were formed successfully. The porous structure of the nanofibers was characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller measurements, which indicated that the size and the diameter of the pore and the ratio of the surface area to the volume of the mats were regulated by adjusting the weight ratios of tetrahydrofuran and N,N-dimethylformamide in the binary solvent mixtures. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Raman analysis confirmed that the addition of TiO2 into the fibers was successful and that PS decomposed completely from fibers after calcination at 500°C. The photovoltaic measurements showed that the obtained TiO2 nanofibers were ideal candidates for the fabrication of the photoanodes on the dye-sensitized solar cells.

Keywords: Dye-sensitized solar cells; Electrospinning; Highly nanoporous fibers; Titanium dioxide.