Synthesis of TiO2/ZnO Nanocomposites by the Electrochemical Method and Their Application in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs)

Aqeel Mahdi Jreo Alduhaidahawi(1*), Ali Abdulsalam Ahmed(2)

(1) Department of Chemistry, College of Science, Kufa University, Najaf 54001, Iraq
(2) Ministry of Education, Rusafa Second Directorate of Education, Baghdad 10045, Iraq
(*) Corresponding Author


Various standard methods have previously been used for the synthesis of nanoparticles that produce unhealthy waste. They are also considered unsafe and expensive methods. An alternative technology is needed to synthesize nanoparticles that consume less energy and are more environmentally friendly. In this research, a TiO2/ZnO nanocomposite has been synthesized, which was produced with efficient energy and no environmental pollution using an easy and fast method (electrochemical). Additionally, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have been fabricated from TiO2/ZnO nanocomposite which was synthesized by a new green method and pigments (methylene blue as a chemical dye and chlorophyll as a natural dye). These DSSCs were characterized by their high ability to absorb ultraviolet energy, where the efficiency of energy conversion η of ITO-TiO2/ZnO were approximately 2.08, and 3.04% with chlorophyll and methylene blue, respectively, showing that η of ITO-TiO2/ZnO with methylene blue was the best.


DSSCs; electrochemical; nanocomposites; titanium dioxide; zinc oxide

Full Text:

Full Text PDF


[1] Suharyadi, S., Syauqi, M.I., Amelia, P., Yunita, Y., and Gunlazuardi, J., 2023, Dye-sensitized solar cell photoelectrochemical tandem system performance study: TiO2 nanotube/N719, BiVO4/TiO2 nanotube, Ti3+/TiO2 nanotube for nitrogen reduction reaction to ammonia, Indones. J. Chem., 23 (3), 583–593.

[2] Munguti, L., and Dejene, F., 2021, Effects of Zn:Ti molar ratios on the morphological, optical and photocatalytic properties of ZnO-TiO2 nanocomposites for application in dye removal, Mater. Sci. Semicond. Process., 128, 105786.

[3] Qumar, U., Hassan, J.Z., Bhatti, R.A., Raza, A., Nazir, G., Nabgan, W., and Ikram, M., 2022, Photocatalysis vs adsorption by metal oxide nanoparticles, J. Mater. Sci. Technol., 131, 122–166.

[4] Ji, L., Li, J., Lei, J., Ren, Y., Zhou, S., and Liang, L., 2023, Preparation and characterization of Cu2+/ZnO/TiO2 nanocomposites for the treatment of typical benzene series in oilfield produced water, Catal. Commun., 174, 106572.

[5] Thate, A.G., Pakhare, K.S., Patil, S.S., and Bhuse, V.M., 2023, Fabrication of TiO2-ZnO nanocomposite photoanodes to enhance the dye-sensitized solar cell efficiency, Res. Chem. Intermed., 49 (1), 147–168.

[6] Zhang J., Zhou, Z., Xiao, B., Zhou, C., Jiang, Z., Liang, Y., Sun, Z., Xiong, J., Chen, G., Zhu, H., and Wang, S., 2023, Visible-light photocatalytic degradation of water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol in aqueous solution by Cu2O@TiO2: Optimization of conditions, mechanisms and toxicity analysis, J. Environ. Manage., 341, 118054.

[7] Estévez Ruiz, E.P., Lago, J.L., and Thirumuruganandham, S.P., 2023, Experimental studies on TiO2 NT with metal dopants through co-precipitation, sol–gel, hydrothermal scheme and corresponding computational molecular evaluations, Materials, 16 (8), 3076.

[8] Prajapat, K., Dhonde, M., Sahu, K., Bhojane, P., Murty, V.V.S., and Shirage, P.M., 2023, The evolution of organic materials for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells, J. Photochem. Photobiol., C, 55, 100586.

[9] Setiarso, P., Harsono, R.V., and Kusumawati, N., 2023, Fabrication of dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) using combination of dyes extracted from curcuma (Curcuma xanthorrhiza) rhizome and binahong (Anredera cordifolia) leaf with treatment in pH of the extraction, Indones. J. Chem., 23 (4), 924–936.

[10] Xiong, Z.M., Mao, X., Trappio, M., Arya, C., el Kordi, J., and Cao, K., 2021, Ultraviolet radiation protection potentials of Methylene Blue for human skin and coral reef health, Sci. Rep., 11 (1), 10871.

[11] Nurhidayani, N., Muzakkar, M.Z., Maulidiyah, M., Wibowo, D., and Nurdin, M., 2017, A novel of Buton asphalt and methylene blue as dye-sensitized solar cell using TiO2/Ti nanotubes electrode, IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng., 267 (1), 012035.

[12] Omar, A., Ali, M.S., and Abd Rahim, N., 2020, Electron transport properties analysis of titanium dioxide dye-sensitized solar cells (TiO2-DSSCs) based natural dyes using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy concept, Sol. Energy, 207, 1088–1121.

[13] Micó-Vicent, B., Perales Romero, E., Jordán-Núñez, J., and Viqueira, V., 2021, Halloysite and laponite hybrid pigments synthesis with copper chlorophyll, Appl. Sci., 11 (12), 5568.

[14] How, Y.Y., Numan, A., Mustafa, M.N., Walvekar, R., Khalid, M., and Mubarak, N.M., 2022, A review on the binder-free electrode fabrication for electrochemical energy storage devices, J. Energy Storage, 51, 104324.

[15] El-Khawaga, A.M., Zidan, A., and Abd El-Mageed, A.I.A.A., 2023, Preparation methods of different nanomaterials for various potential applications: A review, J. Mol. Struct., 1281, 135148.

[16] Anand, A., Mittal, S., Leeladevi, V., and De, D., 2023, Nanoflower shaped ZnO photoanode and natural dye sensitizer based solar cell fabrication, Mater. Today: Proc., 72, 227–231.

[17] Mahdi Rheima, A., Hadi Hussain, D., and Jawad Abed, H., 2020, Fabrication of a new photo-sensitized solar cell using TiO2/ZnO nanocomposite synthesized via a modified sol-gel Technique, IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng., 928 (5), 052036.

[18] He, J., Liu, Q., Zhang, Y., Zhao, X., Zhang, G., Xiao, B., and Fu, K., 2023, In situ synthesis of the mesoporous C–TiO2 microspheres derived from partial hydrolysis tetrabutyl titanate for enhanced photocatalytic degradation under visible light, Mater. Res. Bull., 161, 112168.

[19] Fu, Y., Ba, S., Feng, L., Xia, P., Sun, W., Zhang, B., Zhao, Y., Tian, J., and Wang, F., 2023, Study on the catalytic performance of a new double-shell composite energetic material, J. Phys.: Conf. Ser., 2566 (1), 012001.

[20] Ali, M.M., Haque, M.J., Kabir, M.H., Kaiyum, M.A., and Rahman, M.S., 2021, Nano synthesis of ZnO–TiO2 composites by sol-gel method and evaluation of their antibacterial, optical and photocatalytic activities, Results Mater., 11, 100199.

[21] Baitha, P.K., and Manam, J., 2016, Luminescence properties of ZnO/TiO2 nanocomposite activated by Eu3+ and their spectroscopic analysis, Bull. Mater. Sci., 39 (5), 1233–1243.

[22] Zeinali Heris, S., Etemadi, M., Mousavi, S.B., Mohammadpourfard, M., and Ramavandi, B., 2023, Preparation and characterizations of TiO2/ZnO nanohybrid and its application in photocatalytic degradation of tetracycline in wastewater, J. Photochem. Photobiol., A, 443, 114893.

[23] Hellen, N., Park, H., and Kim, K.N., 2018, Characterization of ZnO/TiO2 nanocomposites prepared via the sol-gel method, J. Korean Ceram. Soc., 55 (2), 140–144.

[24] Harrum, W.M.W., Akhir, R.M., Afaah, A.N., Eswar, K.A., Husairi, F.S., Rusop, M., and Khusaimi, Z., 2023, Comparative study of surface, elemental, structural and optical morphologies of titanium dioxide-zinc oxide (TiO2-ZnO) and titanium dioxide-zinc oxide/graphene (TiO2-ZnO/Gn), Mater. Today: Proc., 75, 147–150.

[25] Hongxia, J., Yanlin, G., Longxiang, L., Xu, W., and Wangjun, P., 2023, A new double Z‐scheme TiO2/ZnO‐g‐C3N4 nanocomposite with enhanced photodegradation efficiency for Rhodamine B under sunlight, Environ. Prog. Sustainable Energy, 42 (1), e13968.

[26] Kumar, A., Nayak, D., Sahoo, P., Nandi, B.K., Saxena, V.K., and Thangavel, R., 2023, Fabrication of porous and visible light active ZnO nanorods and ZnO@TiO2 core–shell photocatalysts for self-cleaning applications, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 25 (24), 16423–16437.

[27] Tauc, J., 1968, Optical properties and electronic structure of amorphous Ge and Si, Mater. Res. Bull., 13 (1), 37–46.

[28] Mancuso, A., Blangetti, N., Sacco, O., Freyria, F.S., Bonelli, B., Esposito, S., Sannino, D., and Vaiano, V., 2023, Photocatalytic degradation of crystal violet dye under visible light by Fe-doped TiO2 prepared by reverse-micelle sol–gel method, Nanomaterials, 13 (2), 270.

[29] Krishnan, S., and Shriwastav, A., 2021, Application of TiO2 nanoparticles sensitized with natural chlorophyll pigments as catalyst for visible light photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue, J. Environ. Chem. Eng., 9 (1), 104699.

[30] Buu, T.T., Son, V.H., Nam, N.T.H., Hai, N.D., Vuong, H.T., Quang, L.T.K., Dat, N.M., Lin, T.H., Phong, M.T., and Hieu, N.H., 2023, Three-dimensional ZnO–TiO2/graphene aerogel for water remediation: The screening studies of adsorption and photodegradation, Ceram. Int., 49 (6), 9868–9882.

[31] Munandar, M.R., Hakim, A.S.R., Puspitadindha, H.A., Andiyani, S.P., and Nurosyid, F., 2022, The effect of mixing chlorophyll-antocyanin as a natural source dye on the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC), J. Phys.: Conf. Ser., 2190 (1), 012042.


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 96 | views : 34

Copyright (c) 2024 Indonesian Journal of Chemistry

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Indonesian Journal of Chemistry (ISSN 1411-9420 /e-ISSN 2460-1578) - Chemistry Department, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia.

Analytics View The Statistics of Indones. J. Chem.