Acta Mater 2004, 52:3507–3517 CrossRef 18 Ji BH, Gao HJ: Mechani

Acta Mater 2004, 52:3507–3517.CrossRef 18. Ji BH, Gao HJ: Mechanical properties of nanostructure of biological materials. J Mech Phys Solid 2004, 52:1963–1990.CrossRef 19. Li XD, Xu ZH, Wang RZ: In situ observation of nanograin rotation and deformation in nacre. Nano Lett 2006, 6:2301–2304.CrossRef Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Authors’ contributions All authors contributed equally to this work. BZ, XDS, and GPZ conceived the project. BZ, HFT, and MDZ performed the experiments. JWY performed the TEM observations. All authors analyzed the data, discussed the results, and wrote the paper. All

authors read and approved the final manuscript.”
“Background One-dimensional (1-D) structured TiO2 nanorods show improved electrical and optical properties in the photoelectrodes of dye-sensitized #click here randurls[1|1|,|CHEM1|]# solar cells (DSSCs) [1]. They can provide straight moving paths for electrons and reduce the e −/h+ Bindarit recombination [2–4]. Further, they scatter sunlight so that the incident light stays longer in the cell [5]. As these properties enhance the solar energy conversion efficiency, much research into the effects of the 1-D structured TiO2 on the photoelectrode have been conducted [6–8].

In principle, photoexcited electrons from dye molecules move on a TiO2 nanocrystal undergoing a series of trapping and de-trapping events during diffusion. The 1-D nanorods, which are densely packed TiO2 nanoparticles, could act as a single crystal and be involved in rapid electron transport, D-malate dehydrogenase thereby reducing the chances for electron recombination. Furthermore, the TiO2 film with random

packing of 1-D rods helps the electrolyte to penetrate into the photoelectrode because of the porosity [9, 10]. The enhanced interpenetration of electrolyte leads to the dye regeneration by redox process of the electrolyte and enhances the energy conversion efficiency with improved photocurrent. Few grain boundaries in the TiO2 nanorods induce fast electron transport and decrease the electron recombination due to the reduced number of trapping sites in the interfaces [11]. In order to reduce grain boundaries in the nanorods, the crystal size should be increased. TiO2 crystal structure (anatase and rutile) and size can be controlled by sintering temperature. The anatase phase has been reported to be developed at temperatures below 800°C, and above the temperatures, it transforms to the more stable rutile phase [12]. Also, the TiO2 nanorods sintered at a high temperature have high crystallinity, meaning reduced grain boundaries and decreased trap sites. Electrons moving through the rutile structure undergo less stress because of the reduced number of trap sites on the grain boundaries [13, 14]. In addition, the transported electrons can easily migrate from the rutile to anatase phase [15, 16]. As the conduction band of the pure anatase phase is typically 0.

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