The formation of mesoscopic titania is done by templated mechanism in which the films are prepared by co-assembly of titania precursor species and complexing agent acetyl acetone (acac) and an amphiphilic structure-directing agent, Pluronic F127 (a triblock copolymer). Thinner films of titania having well organized mesoscopic structure were prepared by doctor-blading method. These films were characterized by SEM, TEM, XRD, etc. UV-Vis absorption studies showed good dye intake in very thin mesoscopic titania layers. Prototype photovoltaic device fabricated utilizing the mesoscopic titania films showed reasonable power conversion efficiency and fill factor (FF). The device with mesoscopic TiO2 layer with thickness as low as 300 nm gave solar cell efficiency 0.31% and FF of 50.2%. This proves the utility of very thin layer of mesoscopic titania fabricated by doctor-blading technique. Such a thin layer may be useful in perovskite solar cells as well. Application of versatile dye molecules, polymers with suitable anchoring functionality could lead to desired high-performance photovoltaic devices.

Graphical Abstract

Templated synthesis of mesoscopic titania and its application in the solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells