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Wang R.,Qingdao University | Wu Q.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | Lu Y.,Northeast Forestry University | Liu H.,Griffith University | And 6 more authors.
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces | Year: 2014

The preparation of nitrogen-doped TiO2/graphene nanohybrids and their application as counter electrode for dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) are presented. These nanohybrids are prepared by self-assembly of pyrene modified H2Ti3O7 nanosheets and graphene in aqueous medium via π-π stacking interactions, followed by thermal calcination at different temperatures in ammonia atmosphere to afford nitrogen-doped TiO 2/graphene nanohybrids. H2Ti3O7 nanosheets were synthesized from TiOSO4·xH2O by a hydrothermal reaction at 150 C for 48 h. The microstructure of the obtained mixed-phase nanohybrids was characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Moreover, the performances of the as-prepared nanohybrids as counter electrode materials for DSSC was investigated, and the results indicated that the nanohybrids prepared at higher nitridation temperature would lead to higher short-circuit current density than those prepared at lower nitridation temperature, indicating that it can be utilized as a low-cost alternative to Pt for DSSCs and other applications. © 2014 American Chemical Society. Source

Lu H.,Suzhou University of Science and Technology | Deng K.,Suzhou University of Science and Technology | Shi Z.,Suzhou University of Science and Technology | Liu Q.,Suzhou University of Science and Technology | And 3 more authors.
Nanoscale Research Letters | Year: 2014

ZnO nanostructures were manipulated, via a low-temperature solution process, from pure nanorod arrays to complex nanostructures of microflowers on nanorod arrays with adjusted quantities of flowers. We proposed the mechanism of local dissolution-driven growth to rationally discuss the novel growth process. These nanostructures were used as photoanodes in dye-sensitized solar cells. Compared to pure nanorod arrays, the nanorod array-microflower hierarchical structures improved the power conversion efficiency from 0.41% to 0.92%, corresponding to a 124% efficiency increase. The enhancement of the efficiency was mainly ascribed to the synergistic effect of the enhanced surface area for higher dye loading and the improved light harvesting from efficient light scattering. Present results provide a promising route to improve the capability of light-harvesting for ZnO nanorod array-based DSSCs. © 2014, Lu et al.; licensee Springer. Source

Qu J.,Changzhou University | Wu Q.-D.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | Ren Y.-R.,Changzhou University | Su Z.,Jiangsu University | And 2 more authors.
Chemistry - An Asian Journal | Year: 2012

Curled up: TiO 2-B nanotubes with two curled layers are successfully prepared by a facile hydrothermal route and subsequent calcination. The two curled layers produce a thin wall, and thus the obtained double-walled structure results in short distances of electron and lithium-ion transport, thereby leading to an improved high-rate performance. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Qu J.,Changzhou University | Qu J.,Colorado School of Mines | Yang Y.,Colorado School of Mines | Wu Q.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering | And 6 more authors.
RSC Advances | Year: 2014

Hedgehog-like hierarchical ZnO needle-clusters, three-dimensional (3-D) ZnO flowers and one-dimensional (1-D) ZnO needles have been synthesised via a facile hydrothermal method. These samples with different morphologies and microstructures were used to fabricate photoelectrodes for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Out of the three samples, current-voltage (I-V) curve measurements show that DSSCs with hedgehog-like ZnO needle-clusters display the best photoelectrochemical performance which can be attributed to enhanced light harvesting and faster reaction kinetics resulting from the unique morphology. The UV-vis absorption and diffused reflectance spectra indicate that hedgehog-like ZnO needle-clusters show higher light harvesting abilities due to high UV absorption, stronger light scattering, as well as a high surface area. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), intensity-modulated photocurrent spectroscopy (IMPS), and intensity-modulated voltage spectroscopy (IMVS) further demonstrate that hedgehog-like ZnO needle-clusters provide superior electron transfer kinetics: fast electron transfer and long electron lifetimes with suppressed recombination. The ZnO needle-clusters obtained not only provide a 3-D matrix but also avoid extensive grain boundary formation. The discoveries from this work are important for the design of efficient photoanode materials with optimum structures for DSSCs. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Zhang D.,China National Academy of Nanotechnology and Engineering
Advanced Materials Research | Year: 2012

The surface and structural properties, thermal stability and oxygen storage capability are inverstigated in ceria-zirconia-alumina oxide with deposition coprecipitation method using the Pseudoboehmite precursor. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Brunauer-Emmet Teller method (BET), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and oxygen pulsing technique are used to character the prepared materials. The prepared ceria-zirconia-alumina oxides are highly dispersed composite solid solution. After calcination at 650°C and 1000°C respectively, these compounds can still keep the structural and textural stability and hold excellent oxygen storage capability. © (2012) Trans Tech Publications. Source

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