In-situ microfluidic controlled, low temperature hydrothermal growth of nanoflakes for dye-sensitized solar cells

Chao Zhao, Jia Zhang, Yue Hu, Neil Robertson, Ping An Hu, David Child, Desmond Gibson, Yong Qing Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this paper, an in-situ microfluidic control unit (MCU) was designed and applied in a hydrothermal synthesis process, which provides an easy way to localize liquid-phase reaction and realize selective synthesis and direct growth of nanostructures as well as their morphology, all in a low-temperature and atmospheric environment. The morphology was controlled through controlling the amount of additivities using the MCU. This achieved a facile fabrication of Al doped ZnO (AZO) nanoflakes vertically grown on flexible polymer substrates with enhanced light scattering and dye loading capabilities. Flexible DSSCs with a significant enhancement (410% compare to ZnO NRs based devices) in power conversion efficiency were obtained using AZO nanoflake photoanodes of 6 μm thick, due to the enhancement in electron mobility and reduction in recombination. This hydrothermal synthesis using the in-situ MCU provides an efficient and scalable technique to synthesize controllable nanostructures with characteristics of easy set-up, low energy consumption and low cost.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17750
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
Early online date3 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Dec 2015

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Microfluidics
Hydrothermal synthesis
Nanostructures
Electron mobility
Light scattering
Temperature
Conversion efficiency
Polymers
Coloring Agents
Energy utilization
Fabrication
Liquids
Substrates
Dye-sensitized solar cells
Costs

Cite this

Zhao, Chao ; Zhang, Jia ; Hu, Yue ; Robertson, Neil ; Hu, Ping An ; Child, David ; Gibson, Desmond ; Fu, Yong Qing. / In-situ microfluidic controlled, low temperature hydrothermal growth of nanoflakes for dye-sensitized solar cells. In: Scientific Reports. 2015 ; Vol. 5.
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abstract = "In this paper, an in-situ microfluidic control unit (MCU) was designed and applied in a hydrothermal synthesis process, which provides an easy way to localize liquid-phase reaction and realize selective synthesis and direct growth of nanostructures as well as their morphology, all in a low-temperature and atmospheric environment. The morphology was controlled through controlling the amount of additivities using the MCU. This achieved a facile fabrication of Al doped ZnO (AZO) nanoflakes vertically grown on flexible polymer substrates with enhanced light scattering and dye loading capabilities. Flexible DSSCs with a significant enhancement (410{\%} compare to ZnO NRs based devices) in power conversion efficiency were obtained using AZO nanoflake photoanodes of 6 μm thick, due to the enhancement in electron mobility and reduction in recombination. This hydrothermal synthesis using the in-situ MCU provides an efficient and scalable technique to synthesize controllable nanostructures with characteristics of easy set-up, low energy consumption and low cost.",
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In-situ microfluidic controlled, low temperature hydrothermal growth of nanoflakes for dye-sensitized solar cells. / Zhao, Chao ; Zhang, Jia ; Hu, Yue ; Robertson, Neil ; Hu, Ping An ; Child, David; Gibson, Desmond; Fu, Yong Qing.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 5, 17750, 03.12.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Zhao, Chao

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AU - Hu, Yue

AU - Robertson, Neil

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AU - Child, David

AU - Gibson, Desmond

AU - Fu, Yong Qing

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AB - In this paper, an in-situ microfluidic control unit (MCU) was designed and applied in a hydrothermal synthesis process, which provides an easy way to localize liquid-phase reaction and realize selective synthesis and direct growth of nanostructures as well as their morphology, all in a low-temperature and atmospheric environment. The morphology was controlled through controlling the amount of additivities using the MCU. This achieved a facile fabrication of Al doped ZnO (AZO) nanoflakes vertically grown on flexible polymer substrates with enhanced light scattering and dye loading capabilities. Flexible DSSCs with a significant enhancement (410% compare to ZnO NRs based devices) in power conversion efficiency were obtained using AZO nanoflake photoanodes of 6 μm thick, due to the enhancement in electron mobility and reduction in recombination. This hydrothermal synthesis using the in-situ MCU provides an efficient and scalable technique to synthesize controllable nanostructures with characteristics of easy set-up, low energy consumption and low cost.

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