Photovoltaic improvement and charge recombination reduction by aluminum oxide impregnated MWCNTs/TiO2 based photoanode for dye-sensitized solar cells

Umer Mehmood, Zuhair Malaibari, Fahad Ali Rabani, Ateeq Ur Rehman, S. H A Ahmad, Muataz Atieh, Muhammad Shahzad Kamal

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The photovoltaic performance of dye-sensitized solar cells was investigated by incorporation of Al2O3 impregnated multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and without impregnated MWCNTs in TiO2. The composites of Al2O3-MWCNTs and MWCNTs with TiO2 were prepared by a direct mixing technique. The dispersions of Al2O3-MWCNTs and MWCNTs in TiO2 were confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis confirms the interstitial incorporation of carbon atoms in the TiO2 lattice via O-Ti-C and Ti-O-C surface states. The solar cells assembled by using composite photoanodes were characterized by UV-Visible absorption spectroscopy measurement, photocurrent-voltage characteristics, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The results showed that upon optimization the device made of Al2O3-0.10%CNTs/TiO2, 0.10%CNTs/TiO2 and pristine TiO2 showed an overall conversion efficiency of 7.02, 5.94 and 5.02 respectively. The improvement in the efficiency of Al2O3-MWCNTs/TiO2 based DSSC can be attributed to an enhanced short-circuit current and reduction in charge recombination. We also employed density functional theory (DFT) to find the band gaps of Al2O3-CNTs/TiO2, CNTs/TiO2 and pristine TiO2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-170
Number of pages9
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2016



  • Composite
  • Density functional theory
  • electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Impregnation
  • MWCNTs
  • photovoltaic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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