Rapid and Low-Temperature Processing of Mesoporous and Nanocrystalline TiO2 Film Using Microwave Irradiation

Md Ataul Mamun, Ashraful Haider Chowdhury, Ke Chen, Rajesh Pathak, Qiquan Qiao, Brian A. Logue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Nanoporous (np)-TiO2 films have multiple applications, including dye-sensitized and perovskite solar cells. However, preparation of np-TiO2 films on transparent conductive oxide-coated surfaces (e.g., fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO)) requires high-temperature sintering (450-500 °C) for at least 30-60 min in a conventional oven. Here, we introduce a novel technique to rapidly produce np-TiO2 films on FTO-coated glass substrates via microwave (MW) irradiation. np-TiO2 films were sintered on FTO-glass substrates in less than 10 min at temperatures less than 260 °C using an optimized MW irradiation program and a simple MW attenuation technique. Significantly, cracking of FTO-coated glass substrates was avoided during MW irradiation, which was a limiting problem in previous studies. MW-developed films were evaluated with UV-vis absorption spectrophotometry, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and atomic force microscopy, with MW-developed films (>4 min) producing essentially identical characteristics as conventionally annealed films. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) fabricated with MW-developed films (8 min) demonstrated an overall power conversion efficiency of 7.16% as compared to 7.04% for conventionally-fabricated DSSCs. This rapid and low-temperature sintering technique saves time and energy and may also pave the way for deposition of np-TiO2 films on plastic-based substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6288-6294
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 26 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • dye-sensitized solar cell
  • fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO)
  • low temperature processing
  • microwave attenuation
  • microwave irradiation
  • nanoporous TiO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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