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Mesoporous Zr-doped TiO2/ZnO material for DSSC and H2 generation applications

A. Menan, R. Shende
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, US

Keywords: Sol-gel, Zr-doped TiO2/ZnO, DSSC, H2 generation


Zr-doped TiO2/ZnO mesoporous material offers opportunities for band gap tuning and higher sensitizer loadings leading to effective charge separation and higher photo-energy conversion. It may be possible to synthesize Zr-doped mesoporous TiO2/ZnO networks by the surfactant templating assisted sol-gel method. In this study mesoporous Zr-doped TiO2/ZnO materials as thin-film and powder were synthesized using hexadecylamine (HDA) as the surfactant, titanium ethoxide and ZnCl2 precursors. Thin-films and gels were aged and calcined for 5 hours in nitrogen environment at 500 oC. Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC) were fabricated using mesoporous Zr-doped TiO2/ZnO and Pt electrodes and I-/I3- redox electrolyte system. The I-V characteristics of these solar cells were investigated under standard AM 1.5 simulated light source. H2 generation experiments were performed using Zr-doped TiO2/ZnO powder in quartz reactor cell (7 ml) containing water and NaI. The cell was illuminated with 500 W Xe lamp with different power density. The gas samples were withdrawn periodically and analyzed using GC provided with TCD and chrompak column. The I-V characteristics, open circuit potential, short circuit current, fill factor (FF) and photoconversion efficiency obtained for the DSSC will be presented. Additionally, H2 volume generated during photocatalytic water splitting will also be presented.
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