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Journal ArticleDOI

Zinc-indium-oxide sol-gel thin film: surface patterning, morphology and photocatalytic activity

01 Jul 2015-Surface Engineering (Taylor & Francis)-Vol. 31, Iss: 7, pp 492-501
Abstract: We report the fabrication of surface patterned zinc indium oxide thin films by pressure assisted capillary force lithography from the precursor solutions of varying indium content 55 maximum. The presence of various morphologies spherical, hexagonal plate, cotton ball, flower and islandlike of hexagonal ZnO together with the formation of light surface patterns was observed from electron microscopes field emission scanning electron microscope, TEM for the films deposited from the precursors of 45 indium. However, at 55 indium ZI55, the development of high fidelity surface patterns average periodicity 15m peak height 15nm was observed from atomic force microscopy (AFM) study. A gradual increase in photocatalytic activity PA of the films towards decomposition of rhodamine 6G dye under UV 254nm was found on increasing indium content. Moreover, an improvement of the PA over 13 times was noticed by nanoAu coating on ZI55. This fabrication strategy could be used for PA improvement of metal oxide semicond...
Topics: Indium (58%), Field emission microscopy (54%), Sol-gel (53%), Oxide (52%), Thin film (52%)
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Abstract: For the first time, we report on successful fabrication of 1-dimensional (1D) nanoprism and 2-dimensional (2D) nanocone shaped surface patterned amorphous indium titanium oxide (INTO) sol-gel based mesoporous thin films on glass by soft lithography. Structural evaluation of the surface patterns over amorphous thin film surfaces was performed by atomic force and transmission electron microscopes as well as X-ray diffraction study. Chemical bonding/oxidation state of constituent elements in INTO film matrix was analyzed by FTIR and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies. Maximum optical absorption and minimum specular surface reflection in visible region were noticed in 2D patterned film. The thin film with physical thickness over 100 nm was mesoporous in nature (~ 14% porosity) as measured by spectroscopic ellipsometer. A significant improvement in photoelectrochemical (PEC) activity was found in 2D patterned film under visible light that could be associated with the enhancement in light absorption/trapping by the periodic nanocones. Moreover, the existence of mesopores could provide excess active sites for electrolyte diffusion and mass transportation. Thus, the mesoporous 2D patterned thin film could have substantial opportunity in solar energy conversion. The facile technique could create an avenue for fabrication of complexed surface patterned thin films with improved PEC property.

8 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Undoped ZnO and Mg-doped ZnO (MZO) thin films were synthesized by sol–gel dip-coating technique. The effect of Mg dopant on the structural, surface-morphological, and optical properties together wi...

5 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The influence of the graphene-based counter electrode on the structure, optical properties and electrocatalytic activity of dye-sensitised solar cells (DSCC) was analysed. The graphene and reduced graphene oxide were deposited by CVD and spin-coating method on the FTO glass substrate, respectively. HRTEM investigation confirms the crystallographic structure of graphene. The investigated layers show flat transmittance spectra across the visible and near-infrared region. The charge transfer resistance of the graphene-based film was analysed by electrochemical impedance measurement. The obtained results show the possibility of replacing expensive platinum in DSCC by using graphene-based counter electrode.

4 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Transparent conducting oxide films of boron and gallium co-doped ZnO (BGZO) were prepared on glass substrates by radio frequency magnetron sputtering at room temperature and 200°C, respectively. The dependence of structural, electrical and optical properties on the thickness and substrate temperature were investigated. All films demonstrated c-axis preferred orientation and showed highly transparent in the visible wavelength region. With the increase thickness and substrate temperature, the grain size of BGZO films increased and the full width at half maximum decreased, the carrier mobility increased and resistivity decreased, which indicated that the crystallinity and conductivity of films were improved. The research also found that the optical band gap (Eg) of BGZO thin films decreased with increased substrate temperature and thickness.

3 citations

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The current state of research on nanoscale-enhanced photoelectrodes and photocatalysts for the water splitting reaction with special emphasis of Fe(2)O(3) with an outlook on the challenges in solar fuel generation with nanoscales inorganic materials is reviewed.
Abstract: The increasing human need for clean and renewable energy has stimulated research in artificial photosynthesis, and in particular water photoelectrolysis as a pathway to hydrogen fuel. Nanostructured devices are widely regarded as an opportunity to improve efficiency and lower costs, but as a detailed analysis shows, they also have considerably disadvantages. This article reviews the current state of research on nanoscale-enhanced photoelectrodes and photocatalysts for the water splitting reaction. The focus is on transition metal oxides with special emphasis of Fe2O3, but nitrides and chalcogenides, and main group element compounds, including carbon nitride and silicon, are also covered. The effects of nanostructuring on carrier generation and collection, multiple exciton generation, and quantum confinement are also discussed, as well as implications of particle size on surface recombination, on the size of space charge layers and on the possibility of controlling nanostructure energetics via potential determining ions. After a summary of electrocatalytic and plasmonic nanostructures, the review concludes with an outlook on the challenges in solar fuel generation with nanoscale inorganic materials.

1,567 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Since Gratzel’s group reported an overall efficiency of 10% for dye-sensitized solar cell using cis-di(thiocyanato)bis(2,2′-bipyridyl-4,4′-dicarboxylate)ruthenium(II), many other institutions have tried to reproduce it. However, no other institutions have, so far, reported such a high efficiency. In order to develop high efficiency dye-sensitized solar cells, the tuning of TiO2 photoelectrode morphology towards optimization of solar energy conversion efficiency has been investigated. TiO2 photoelectrodes with six different structures, with layers of nanoparticles, light-scattering particles, and mixture of nanoparticles and light-scattering particles on the conducting glass at a desirable sequence and thickness, were designed and investigated. The profiles of photocurrent action spectra were compared in terms of light scattering and the suppression of light loss due to the back-scattering of large particles near the conducting glass. The data show that the multilayer structure is superior to the mono- and double-layer structure, with ∼85% of incident monochromatic photon-to-electron conversion efficiency (IPCE) below 620 nm and ∼45% of IPCE at 700 nm. The solar-to-electric energy conversion efficiency of N719 dye-sensitized solar cell has been improved significantly from 7.6 to 9.8% by tuning the film structure from monolayer to multilayer. The best efficiency of 10.2% under illumination of simulated AM1.5 solar light (100 mW cm−2) was attained with a multilayer structure using an anti-reflection film on the cell surface.

1,016 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
18 Dec 1998-Science
TL;DR: Porous silica, niobia, and titania with three-dimensional structures patterned over multiple length scales were prepared by combining micromolding, polystyrene sphere templating, and cooperative assembly of inorganic sol-gel species with amphiphilic triblock copolymers.
Abstract: Porous silica, niobia, and titania with three-dimensional structures patterned over multiple length scales were prepared by combining micromolding, polystyrene sphere templating, and cooperative assembly of inorganic sol-gel species with amphiphilic triblock copolymers. The resulting materials show hierarchical ordering over several discrete and tunable length scales ranging from 10 nanometers to several micrometers. The respective ordered structures can be independently modified by choosing different mold patterns, latex spheres, and block copolymers. The examples presented demonstrate the compositional and structural diversities that are possible with this simple approach.

917 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Peng Li1, Zhe Wei, Tong Wu, Qing Peng, Yadong Li 
TL;DR: Because of their homogeneous composition and controlled morphology, the Au-ZnO hybrid nanopyramids demonstrate better photocatalytic efficiency than pure ZnO nanocrystals.
Abstract: We successfully synthesized Au−ZnO hybrid nanoparticles with a novel hexagonal pyramid-like structure. The growth process of the as-prepared hybrid nanopyramids is clearly discussed. Because of the...

552 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
17 Sep 2007-Advanced Materials
Abstract: The interest in dye-sensitized solar cells has increased due to reduced energy sources and higher energy production costs. For the most part, titania (TiO2) has been the material of choice for dye-sensitized solar cells and so far have shown to exhibit the highest overall light conversion efficiency ~ 11%.[1] However, zinc oxide (ZnO) has recently been explored as an alternative material in dye-sensitized solar cells with great potential.[2] The main reasons for this increase in research surrounding ZnO material include: 1) ZnO having a band gap similar to that for TiO2 at 3.2 eV,[3] and 2) ZnO having a much higher electron mobility ~ 115-155 cm2/Vs[4] than that for anatase titania (TiO2), which is reported to be ~ 10-5 cm2/Vs.[5] In addition, ZnO has a few advantages as the semiconductor electrode when compared to TiO2, including 1) simpler tailoring of the nanostructure as compared to TiO2, and 2) easier modification of the surface structure. These advantages[6] are thought to provide a promising means for improving the solar cell performance of the working electrode in dye-sensitized solar cells.

496 citations

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