Vertical ZnO nanotube (ZNT) arrays were synthesized onto an indium doped tin oxide (ITO) glass substrate by a simple electrochemical deposition technique followed by a selective etching process. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed formation of well-faceted hexagonal ZNT arrays spreading uniformly over a large area. X-ray diffraction (XRD) of ZNT layer showed substantially higher intensity for the (0002) diffraction peak, indicating that the ZnO crystallites were well aligned with their c-axis. Profilometer measurements of the ZNT layer showed an average thickness of 7 μm. Diameter size distribution (DSD) analysis showed that ZNTs exhibited a narrow diameter size distribution in the range of 65-120 nm and centered at 75 nm. The photoluminescence (PL) spectrum measurement showed violet and blue luminescence peaks that were centered at 410 and 480 nm, respectively, indicating the presence of internal defects. Ultra-violet (UV) spectroscopy showed major absorbance peak at 348 nm, exhibiting an increase in energy gap value of 3.4 eV. By employing the formed ZNTs as the photo-anode for a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC), a full-sun conversion efficiency of 1.01% was achieved with a fill factor of 54%. Quantum efficiency studies showed the maximum of incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiency in a visible region located at 520-550 nm range. © 2011 The Chinese Society for Metals.
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R. Ranjusha, Lekha, P., Subramanian, K. R. V., Shantikumar, V. N., and Balakrishnan, A., “Photoanode Activity of ZnO Nanotube Based Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells”, Journal of Materials Science and Technology, vol. 27, pp. 961-966, 2011.