Research Article


2017, 10(11): 3671–3679


Surface states in TiO2 submicrosphere films and their effect on electron transport

Jiawei Zheng1,2, Li’e Mo1, Wangchao Chen1, Ling Jiang1, Yong Ding3,1, Zhaoqian Li1, Linhua Hu1 (*), and Songyuan Dai3,1 (*)

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1 Key Laboratory of Novel Thin Film Solar Cells, Institute of Applied Technology, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230088, China
2 University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
3 Beijing Key Laboratory of Novel Thin Film Solar Cells, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China

Keywords: surface states, TiO2 submicrospheres, solar cells, charge extraction methods, cyclic voltammetry
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ABSTRACT Owing to their special three-dimensional network structure and high specific surface area, TiO2 submicrospheres have been widely used as electron conductors in photoanodes for solar cells. In recent years, utilization of TiO2 submicrospheres in solar cells has greatly boosted the photovoltaic performance. Inevitably, however, numerous surface states in the TiO2 network affect electron transport. In this work, the surface states in TiO2 submicrospheres were thoroughly investigated by charge extraction methods, and the results were confirmed by the cyclic voltammetry method. The results showed that ammonia can effectively reduce the number of surface states in TiO2 submicrospheres. Furthermore, in-depth characterizations indicate that ammonia shifts the conduction band toward a more positive potential and improves the interfacial charge transfer. Moreover, charge recombination is effectively prevented. Overall, the cell performance is essentially dependent on the effect of the surface states, which affects the electron transfer and recombination process.
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Surface states in TiO2 submicrosphere films and their effect on electron transport. Nano Res. 2017, 10(11): 3671–3679

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