Rapid and Low-Temperature Processing of Mesoporous and Nanocrystalline TiO2 Film Using Microwave Irradiation
Nanoporous (np)-TiO2 films have multiple applications, including dye-sensitized and perovskite solar cells. However, preparation of np-TiO2 films on transparent conductive oxide-coated surfaces (e.g., fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO)) requires high-temperature sintering (450–500 °C) for at least 30–60 min in a conventional oven. Here, we introduce a novel technique to rapidly produce np-TiO2 films on FTO-coated glass substrates via microwave (MW) irradiation. np-TiO2 films were sintered on FTO-glass substrates in less than 10 min at temperatures less than 260 °C using an optimized MW irradiation program and a simple MW attenuation technique. Significantly, cracking of FTO-coated glass substrates was avoided during MW irradiation, which was a limiting problem in previous studies. MW-developed films were evaluated with UV–vis absorption spectrophotometry, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and atomic force microscopy, with MW-developed films ( >4 min) producing essentially identical characteristics as conventionally annealed films. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) fabricated with MW-developed films (8 min) demonstrated an overall power conversion efficiency of 7.16% as compared to 7.04% for conventionally-fabricated DSSCs. This rapid and low-temperature sintering technique saves time and energy and may also pave the way for deposition of np-TiO2 films on plastic-based substrates.
ACS Applied Energy Materials
DOI of Published Version
Mamun, Md Ataul; Chowdhury, Ashraful Haider; Chen, Ke; Pathak, Rajesh; Qiao, Qiquan; and Logue, Brian A., "Rapid and Low-Temperature Processing of Mesoporous and Nanocrystalline TiO2 Film Using Microwave Irradiation" (2018). Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty Publications. 88.