One-step fabrication of crack-free, hierarchically-ordered TiO2 films via self-assembly of polystyrene bead and preformed TiO2

Sung Yeon Heo, Jung Tae Park, Rajkumar Patel, Jin Kyu Kim, Jong Hak Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Crack-free, hierarchically-ordered TiO2 films were prepared via one-step co-assembly of a 400-nm polystyrene bead and hydrophilically preformed TiO2. Large volume loss of titanium(IV) bis(ammonium lactato) dihydroxide, a commonly used precursor, led to substantial crack formation of the film. However, the use of preformed TiO2 resulted in less cracked films with higher thickness and a meso/macroscopic scale hierarchical structure. This is because the preformed TiO2 particles electrostatically assembled onto the polystyrene bead surface, as confirmed by scanning electron microscope and a zeta potential analyzer. When these structures were implemented as photoanodes in quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells using a nanogel electrolyte, the efficiency of the preformed TiO2-based cell was 1.8-fold greater than that of a titanium(IV) bis(ammonium lactato) dihydroxide-based cell, indicating the importance of the precursor. Upon fabrication of solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells using a high molecular weight polymer and the TiCl4-treated TiO2 film, the efficiency was much greater than that of less-organized, nanoparticle-based cells fabricated with commercially available paste (Dyesol, 18NR-T). This indicates the increased effectiveness of the film in solid-state high molecular weight systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 20

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Active Polymer Center for Pattern Integration (R11-2007-050-00000-0), the Core Research Program (NRF-2012R1A2A2A02011268), and the Low Observable Technology Research Center program of Defense Acquisition Program Administration and the Agency for Defense Development.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Electrochemistry


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