Researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, are studying the fabrication and practical application of nanomaterials. One of the team's major projects is the investigation of ultra-thin TiO2 nanotubes. A higher anodic voltage and longer anodization time are critical factors in the whole two-step anodization, and enable an ideal TiO2 nanotube film with a unique double-pass structure to be obtained.

The chief advantages of this method are the ultra-thin nanotube wall (nearly 10 nm) and high-speed growth rate (0.40–1.00 µm/min–1), meanwhile, the barrier layer detaches automatically.

Art turned into application

The team's results provide a simple and cost-effective approach to fabricating high-quality ordered TiO2 nanotube arrays with ultra-thin walls for a variety of critical practical energy applications involving DSSCs. These TiO2 nanotube arrays will enable developers to load much more dye, reduce the carrier recombination leading to more efficient charge separation and provide a unidirectional electric channel, which is essential for photovoltaics and photocatalysis applications.

More details can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.