J. Semicond. > Volume 39 > Issue 9 > Article Number: 093002

Elaboration of ZnO nanowires by solution based method, characterization and solar cell applications

F. A. Mahmoud 1, 2, , and Ninet Ahmed 3,

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Abstract: ZnO nanowires (NWs) layers have been synthesized using a two-step chemical solution method on ITO glass substrates coated with ZnO seeds at different immersing times. The structures, morphology and optical properties of the synthesized ZnO NWs have been investigated. The prepared ZnO NWs have an obvious polycrystalline hexangular wurtzite structure and are preferentially oriented along the c-axis (002). FESEM micrographs showed that the prepared ZnO NWs are close to being vertically grown and more densely at higher immersing times. Poly [2-methoxy-5(2′-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene], MEH-PPV, was used as an active layer to prepare three samples of MEH-PPV/ZnO solar cell based on ZnO NWs that were prepared at different immersing times. A maximum power conversion efficiency of 0.812% was achieved for MEH-PPV/ZnO solar cell prepared at a higher immersing time. The improved efficiency may be attributed to the enhancement of both open-circuit voltage and fill factor.

Key words: ZnO nanowirestwo step chemical solution methodstructural propertiesoptical propertiesMEH-PPV/ZnO solar cell

Abstract: ZnO nanowires (NWs) layers have been synthesized using a two-step chemical solution method on ITO glass substrates coated with ZnO seeds at different immersing times. The structures, morphology and optical properties of the synthesized ZnO NWs have been investigated. The prepared ZnO NWs have an obvious polycrystalline hexangular wurtzite structure and are preferentially oriented along the c-axis (002). FESEM micrographs showed that the prepared ZnO NWs are close to being vertically grown and more densely at higher immersing times. Poly [2-methoxy-5(2′-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene], MEH-PPV, was used as an active layer to prepare three samples of MEH-PPV/ZnO solar cell based on ZnO NWs that were prepared at different immersing times. A maximum power conversion efficiency of 0.812% was achieved for MEH-PPV/ZnO solar cell prepared at a higher immersing time. The improved efficiency may be attributed to the enhancement of both open-circuit voltage and fill factor.

Key words: ZnO nanowirestwo step chemical solution methodstructural propertiesoptical propertiesMEH-PPV/ZnO solar cell



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Yaguang W, Chen X, Sheng X, et al. Planar waveguide-nanowire integrated three-dimensional dye-sensitized solar cells. Nano Lett, 2010, 10(6): 2092

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Tredici I G, Resmini A, Yaghmaie F, et al. A simple two-step solution chemistry method for synthesis of micro patterned ZnO nanorods based on metal-loaded hydrogels. Thin Solid Films, 2012, 526: 22

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Ho G W, Wong A S W. One step solution synthesis towards ultra-thin and uniform single-crystalline ZnO nanowires. Appl Phys A, 2007, 86(4): 457

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Yangyang Z, Ram M K, Stefanakos E K, et al. Synthesis, characterization, and applications of ZnO nanowires. J Nanomater, 2012, 2012: 20

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Bauer C, Boschloo G. Recombination in Ru(dcbpy)2, sensitized nanostructured ZnO. J Phys Chem B, 2001, 105: 5585

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Myo T H, Minori I. Photoluminescence properties and morphology of submicron-sized ZnO crystals prepared by ultrasonic spray pyrolysis. J Appl Phys, 2008, 47: 541

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Quintana M, Edvinsson T, Hagfeldt A, et al. Comparison of dye-sensitized ZnO and TiO2 solar cells: studies of change transport and carrier lifetime. J Phys Chem C, 2007, 111: 1035

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Quintana M, Marinado T, Nonomura K, et al. Organic chromophone-sensitized ZnO solar cells: electrolyte-dependent dye desorption and band-edge shifts. J Photochem Photobiol A, 2009, 202: 159

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Gonzalez V I, Lira-Cantu M. Vertically-aligned nanostructures of ZnO for exitonic solar cells. J Energy Environ Sci, 2009, 2: 1

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Chergui Y, Nehaoua N. Photovoltaic characteristics of ZnO nanotube dye-sensitized solar cells and TiO2 nanostructure. Res Rev: J Mater Sci, 2013, 1(2): 18

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Mc Peak K M, Baxte J B. ZnO nanowires grown by chemical bath deposition in a continuous flow microreactor. Cryst Growth Des, 2009, 9(10): 4538

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Chevalier-César C, Capochichi-Gnambodo M. Growth mechanism studies of ZnO nanowire arrays via hydrothermal method. Appl Phys A, 2014, 115(3): 953

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Shim J B, Chang H. rapid hydrothermal synthesis of zinc oxide nanowires by annealing methods on seed layers. J Nanomater, 2011, 2011: 25

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García C M, Valdés E D, Mercado A M P, et al. Synthesis of aluminum-doped zinc oxide nanowires hydrothermally grown on plastic substrate. Adv Mater Phys Chem, 2012, 2: 56

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Nayak A P, Katzenmeyer A. Sonochemical synthesis of zinc oxide nanowire arrays on silicon and glass substrates. Proceedings of The National Conference On Undergraduate Research (NCUR), 2010

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Qiu Z, Gong H, Yang X, et al. Phosphorus concentration dependent microstructure and optical property of ZnO nanowires grown by high-pressure pulsed laser deposition. J Phys Chem C, 2015, 119(8): 4371

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Shin S, Park J, Seo Y, et al. Selective growth of vertical and horizontal ZnO nanowires for device applications. J Kor Phys Soc, 2008, 53(4): 2011

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Hsueh T J, Chen Y W, Chang S J, et al. ZnO nanowire-based CO sensors prepared at various temperatures. J Electrochem Soc, 2007, 154(12): 393

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Htay M T, Hashimoto Y. Field emission property of ZnO nanowires prepared by ultrasonic spray pyrolysis. Superlattices Microstruct, 2015, 84: 144

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Karimipour M, Molaei M, Allahyar S. Tunable luminescence of pure ZnO nanowires prepared by microwave irradiation in ethanol. J Mater Sci: Mater Electron, 2016, 27(5): 4771

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Lupan O, Emelchenko G A, Ursaki V V, et al. Synthesis and characterization of ZnO nanowires for nanosensor applications. Mater Res Bull, 2010, 45(8): 1026

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Kao T H, Chen J Y, Chiu C H, et al. Opto-electrical properties of Sb-doped p-type ZnO nanowires. Appl Phys Lett, 2014, 104(11): 111909

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Lin C C, Lin W H, Li Y Y. Synthesis of ZnO nanowires and their applications as an ultraviolet photodetector. J Nanosci Nanotechnol, 2009, 9(5): 2813

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Yang X, Chen Z, Xie X, et al. Enhanced response speed of ZnO nanowire photodetector by coating with photoresist. J Nanomater, 2016, 2016: 6

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Zhang X Z, Jian X G, Zhu L W. Materials and devices research of PPV-ZnO nanowires for heterojunction solar cells. J Nanomater, 2012, 2012: 1

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Major J D, Tena-Zaera R, Azaceta E, et al. Development of ZnO nanowire based CdTe thin film solar cells. Sol Energy Mater Sol Cells, 2017, 160: 107

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Tena-Zaera R, Ryan M A, Katty A, et al. Fabrication and characterization of ZnO nanowires/CdSe/CuSCN eta-solar cell. C R Chimie, 2009, 9(5/6): 717

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Liu J, Wang S, Bian Z, et al. Organic/inorganic hybrid solar cells with vertically oriented ZnO nanowires. Appl Phys Lett, 2009, 94(17): 173107

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Afifi A, Tabatabaei M K. Efficiency investigation of dye-sensitized solar cells based on the zinc oxide nanowires. Orient J Chem, 2014, 30(1): 155

[35]

Kim H, Jeong H, An T K, et al. Hybrid-type quantum-dot cosensitized ZnO nanowire solar cell with enhanced visible-light harvesting. CS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2013, 5(2): 268

[36]

Dymshits A, Iagher L, Etgar L. Parameters influencing the growth of ZnO nanowires as efficient low temperature flexible perovskite-based solar cells. Materials, 2016, 9(1): 60

[37]

Zhang M L, Jin F, Zheng M L, et al. High efficiency solar cell based on ZnO nanowire array prepared by different growth methods. RSC Adv, 2014, 4(21): 10462

[38]

Zhang J T, He M, Fu N Q, et al. Facile one-step synthesis of highly branched ZnO nanostructures on titanium foil for flexible dyesensitized solar cells. Nanoscale, 2014, 6: 4211

[39]

Tiwale N. Zinc Oxide nanowire gas sensors: fabrication, functionalisation and devices. Mater Sci Technol, 2015, 31(14): 1681

[40]

Habib M, Hussain S S, Riaz S, et al. Preparation and characterization of ZnO nanowires and their applications in CO2 gas sensors. Mater Today: Proc, 2015, 2(10): 5714

[41]

Pauporté T, Lupan O, Zhang J, et al. Low-temperature preparation of Ag-doped ZnO nanowire arrays, DFT study, and application to light-emitting diode. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2015, 7(22): 11871

[42]

Ma C, Zhou Z, Wei H, et al. Rapid Large-scale preparation of ZnO nanowires for photocatalytic application. Nanoscale Res Lett, 2011, 6(1): 536

[43]

Zhou Q, Wen J Z, Zhao P, et al. Synthesis of vertically-aligned zinc oxide nanowires and their application as photocatalyst. Nanomaterials, 2017, 7(1): 9

[44]

Momeni M M. One-step synthesis of ZnO nanowires on zinc foils and their photocatalytic properties. Ind J Chem, 2016, 55A: 686

[45]

Mejía-García C, Elvia D, Marco A A, et al. Influence of the hydrothermal method growth parameters on the zinc oxide nanowires deposited on several substrates. J Nanomater, 2014, 2014: 9

[46]

Alaie Z, Mohammad Nejad S, Yousefi M H, et al. The effects of different seed layers and growth time on the quality of ZnO NRs array. Int J Nanosci Nanotechnol, 2016, 12(2): 119

[47]

Sagar P, Shishodiaa P K, Mehraa R M, et al. Photoluminescence and absorption in sol–gel-derived ZnO films. J Lumine, 2007, 126: 800

[48]

Aziz N D A, Rusdi R, Kamarulzaman N. Studies of MEH-PPV and MEH-PPV/MCMB films and their light absorption in the red wavelength region of the visible spectrum. Adv Mater Res, 2012, 545: 308

[49]

Clotaire C C, Martine C G, Fang L, et al. Effect of growth time and annealing on the structural defect concentration of hydrothermally grown ZnO nanowires. AIMS Mater Sci, 2016, 3(2): 562

[50]

Xu Z Y, Zhang D H, Wang Q P, et al. The blue photoluminescence emitted from ZnO films deposited on glass substrate by RF magnetron sputtering. Appl Surf Sci, 2002, 195(1–4): 126

[51]

Omer B M. Optical properties of MEH-PPV and MEH-PPV/[6,6]-Phenyl C61-butyric Acid 3-ethylthiophene ester thin films. J Nano-Electron, 2012, 4(4): 04006

[52]

Shim W H, Park M Y, Park D S, et al. Effect of sol-gel prepared ZnO electron selective layer on the performance of inverted organic solar cells. Mol Cryst Liq Cryst, 2011, 538(1): 164

[53]

Xue Z S, Zhang W, Yin X, et al. Enhanced conversion efficiency of flexible dye-sensitized solar cells by optimization of the nanoparticle size with an electrophoretic deposition technique. RSC Adv, 2012, 2: 7074

[54]

Hu F Y, Xia Y J, Guan Z S, et al. Low temperature fabrication of ZnO compact layer for high performance plastic dye-sensitized ZnO solar cells. Electrochim Acta, 2012, 69: 97

[55]

Yang R Y, Chen H Y, Lai F D. Performance degradation of dye-sensitized solar cells induced by electrolytes. Adv Maters Sci Eng, 2012, 2012: 1

[1]

Osterhout S D. Hybrid polymer solar cells based on ZnO. PhD Thesis, Eindhoven Technical University, 2011

[2]

Yaguang W, Chen X, Sheng X, et al. Planar waveguide-nanowire integrated three-dimensional dye-sensitized solar cells. Nano Lett, 2010, 10(6): 2092

[3]

Tredici I G, Resmini A, Yaghmaie F, et al. A simple two-step solution chemistry method for synthesis of micro patterned ZnO nanorods based on metal-loaded hydrogels. Thin Solid Films, 2012, 526: 22

[4]

Ho G W, Wong A S W. One step solution synthesis towards ultra-thin and uniform single-crystalline ZnO nanowires. Appl Phys A, 2007, 86(4): 457

[5]

Yangyang Z, Ram M K, Stefanakos E K, et al. Synthesis, characterization, and applications of ZnO nanowires. J Nanomater, 2012, 2012: 20

[6]

Bauer C, Boschloo G. Recombination in Ru(dcbpy)2, sensitized nanostructured ZnO. J Phys Chem B, 2001, 105: 5585

[7]

Myo T H, Minori I. Photoluminescence properties and morphology of submicron-sized ZnO crystals prepared by ultrasonic spray pyrolysis. J Appl Phys, 2008, 47: 541

[8]

Quintana M, Edvinsson T, Hagfeldt A, et al. Comparison of dye-sensitized ZnO and TiO2 solar cells: studies of change transport and carrier lifetime. J Phys Chem C, 2007, 111: 1035

[9]

Quintana M, Marinado T, Nonomura K, et al. Organic chromophone-sensitized ZnO solar cells: electrolyte-dependent dye desorption and band-edge shifts. J Photochem Photobiol A, 2009, 202: 159

[10]

Gonzalez V I, Lira-Cantu M. Vertically-aligned nanostructures of ZnO for exitonic solar cells. J Energy Environ Sci, 2009, 2: 1

[11]

Chergui Y, Nehaoua N. Photovoltaic characteristics of ZnO nanotube dye-sensitized solar cells and TiO2 nanostructure. Res Rev: J Mater Sci, 2013, 1(2): 18

[12]

Glushenkov A, Chen Y. Synthesis of ZnO nanowires using ball-milling and annealing method. Mater Forum, 2006, 30: 1

[13]

Al-Asadi A S, Henley L A, Ghosh S, et al. Fabrication and characterization of ultraviolet photosensors from ZnO nanowires prepared using chemical bath deposition method. J Appl Phys, 2016, 119(8): 084306

[14]

Mc Peak K M, Baxte J B. ZnO nanowires grown by chemical bath deposition in a continuous flow microreactor. Cryst Growth Des, 2009, 9(10): 4538

[15]

Chevalier-César C, Capochichi-Gnambodo M. Growth mechanism studies of ZnO nanowire arrays via hydrothermal method. Appl Phys A, 2014, 115(3): 953

[16]

Shim J B, Chang H. rapid hydrothermal synthesis of zinc oxide nanowires by annealing methods on seed layers. J Nanomater, 2011, 2011: 25

[17]

García C M, Valdés E D, Mercado A M P, et al. Synthesis of aluminum-doped zinc oxide nanowires hydrothermally grown on plastic substrate. Adv Mater Phys Chem, 2012, 2: 56

[18]

Hu L L. Electrochemical growth and characterization of ZnO nanowire. Master of Applied Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 2014

[19]

Nayak A P, Katzenmeyer A. Sonochemical synthesis of zinc oxide nanowire arrays on silicon and glass substrates. Proceedings of The National Conference On Undergraduate Research (NCUR), 2010

[20]

Qiu Z, Gong H, Yang X, et al. Phosphorus concentration dependent microstructure and optical property of ZnO nanowires grown by high-pressure pulsed laser deposition. J Phys Chem C, 2015, 119(8): 4371

[21]

Shin S, Park J, Seo Y, et al. Selective growth of vertical and horizontal ZnO nanowires for device applications. J Kor Phys Soc, 2008, 53(4): 2011

[22]

Hsueh T J, Chen Y W, Chang S J, et al. ZnO nanowire-based CO sensors prepared at various temperatures. J Electrochem Soc, 2007, 154(12): 393

[23]

Noor R, Riaz S, Naseem S. A comparative study of ZnO thin films, nanowires and nanotubes for photovoltaics applications. The 2012 World Congress onAdvances in Civil, Environmental, and Materials Research (ACEM’ 12), 2012: 26

[24]

Htay M T, Hashimoto Y. Field emission property of ZnO nanowires prepared by ultrasonic spray pyrolysis. Superlattices Microstruct, 2015, 84: 144

[25]

Karimipour M, Molaei M, Allahyar S. Tunable luminescence of pure ZnO nanowires prepared by microwave irradiation in ethanol. J Mater Sci: Mater Electron, 2016, 27(5): 4771

[26]

Lupan O, Emelchenko G A, Ursaki V V, et al. Synthesis and characterization of ZnO nanowires for nanosensor applications. Mater Res Bull, 2010, 45(8): 1026

[27]

Kao T H, Chen J Y, Chiu C H, et al. Opto-electrical properties of Sb-doped p-type ZnO nanowires. Appl Phys Lett, 2014, 104(11): 111909

[28]

Lin C C, Lin W H, Li Y Y. Synthesis of ZnO nanowires and their applications as an ultraviolet photodetector. J Nanosci Nanotechnol, 2009, 9(5): 2813

[29]

Yang X, Chen Z, Xie X, et al. Enhanced response speed of ZnO nanowire photodetector by coating with photoresist. J Nanomater, 2016, 2016: 6

[30]

Zhang X Z, Jian X G, Zhu L W. Materials and devices research of PPV-ZnO nanowires for heterojunction solar cells. J Nanomater, 2012, 2012: 1

[31]

Major J D, Tena-Zaera R, Azaceta E, et al. Development of ZnO nanowire based CdTe thin film solar cells. Sol Energy Mater Sol Cells, 2017, 160: 107

[32]

Tena-Zaera R, Ryan M A, Katty A, et al. Fabrication and characterization of ZnO nanowires/CdSe/CuSCN eta-solar cell. C R Chimie, 2009, 9(5/6): 717

[33]

Liu J, Wang S, Bian Z, et al. Organic/inorganic hybrid solar cells with vertically oriented ZnO nanowires. Appl Phys Lett, 2009, 94(17): 173107

[34]

Afifi A, Tabatabaei M K. Efficiency investigation of dye-sensitized solar cells based on the zinc oxide nanowires. Orient J Chem, 2014, 30(1): 155

[35]

Kim H, Jeong H, An T K, et al. Hybrid-type quantum-dot cosensitized ZnO nanowire solar cell with enhanced visible-light harvesting. CS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2013, 5(2): 268

[36]

Dymshits A, Iagher L, Etgar L. Parameters influencing the growth of ZnO nanowires as efficient low temperature flexible perovskite-based solar cells. Materials, 2016, 9(1): 60

[37]

Zhang M L, Jin F, Zheng M L, et al. High efficiency solar cell based on ZnO nanowire array prepared by different growth methods. RSC Adv, 2014, 4(21): 10462

[38]

Zhang J T, He M, Fu N Q, et al. Facile one-step synthesis of highly branched ZnO nanostructures on titanium foil for flexible dyesensitized solar cells. Nanoscale, 2014, 6: 4211

[39]

Tiwale N. Zinc Oxide nanowire gas sensors: fabrication, functionalisation and devices. Mater Sci Technol, 2015, 31(14): 1681

[40]

Habib M, Hussain S S, Riaz S, et al. Preparation and characterization of ZnO nanowires and their applications in CO2 gas sensors. Mater Today: Proc, 2015, 2(10): 5714

[41]

Pauporté T, Lupan O, Zhang J, et al. Low-temperature preparation of Ag-doped ZnO nanowire arrays, DFT study, and application to light-emitting diode. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2015, 7(22): 11871

[42]

Ma C, Zhou Z, Wei H, et al. Rapid Large-scale preparation of ZnO nanowires for photocatalytic application. Nanoscale Res Lett, 2011, 6(1): 536

[43]

Zhou Q, Wen J Z, Zhao P, et al. Synthesis of vertically-aligned zinc oxide nanowires and their application as photocatalyst. Nanomaterials, 2017, 7(1): 9

[44]

Momeni M M. One-step synthesis of ZnO nanowires on zinc foils and their photocatalytic properties. Ind J Chem, 2016, 55A: 686

[45]

Mejía-García C, Elvia D, Marco A A, et al. Influence of the hydrothermal method growth parameters on the zinc oxide nanowires deposited on several substrates. J Nanomater, 2014, 2014: 9

[46]

Alaie Z, Mohammad Nejad S, Yousefi M H, et al. The effects of different seed layers and growth time on the quality of ZnO NRs array. Int J Nanosci Nanotechnol, 2016, 12(2): 119

[47]

Sagar P, Shishodiaa P K, Mehraa R M, et al. Photoluminescence and absorption in sol–gel-derived ZnO films. J Lumine, 2007, 126: 800

[48]

Aziz N D A, Rusdi R, Kamarulzaman N. Studies of MEH-PPV and MEH-PPV/MCMB films and their light absorption in the red wavelength region of the visible spectrum. Adv Mater Res, 2012, 545: 308

[49]

Clotaire C C, Martine C G, Fang L, et al. Effect of growth time and annealing on the structural defect concentration of hydrothermally grown ZnO nanowires. AIMS Mater Sci, 2016, 3(2): 562

[50]

Xu Z Y, Zhang D H, Wang Q P, et al. The blue photoluminescence emitted from ZnO films deposited on glass substrate by RF magnetron sputtering. Appl Surf Sci, 2002, 195(1–4): 126

[51]

Omer B M. Optical properties of MEH-PPV and MEH-PPV/[6,6]-Phenyl C61-butyric Acid 3-ethylthiophene ester thin films. J Nano-Electron, 2012, 4(4): 04006

[52]

Shim W H, Park M Y, Park D S, et al. Effect of sol-gel prepared ZnO electron selective layer on the performance of inverted organic solar cells. Mol Cryst Liq Cryst, 2011, 538(1): 164

[53]

Xue Z S, Zhang W, Yin X, et al. Enhanced conversion efficiency of flexible dye-sensitized solar cells by optimization of the nanoparticle size with an electrophoretic deposition technique. RSC Adv, 2012, 2: 7074

[54]

Hu F Y, Xia Y J, Guan Z S, et al. Low temperature fabrication of ZnO compact layer for high performance plastic dye-sensitized ZnO solar cells. Electrochim Acta, 2012, 69: 97

[55]

Yang R Y, Chen H Y, Lai F D. Performance degradation of dye-sensitized solar cells induced by electrolytes. Adv Maters Sci Eng, 2012, 2012: 1

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F. A. Mahmoud, N Ahmed, Elaboration of ZnO nanowires by solution based method, characterization and solar cell applications[J]. J. Semicond., 2018, 39(9): 093002. doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/39/9/093002.

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Manuscript received: 18 December 2017 Manuscript revised: 02 April 2018 Online: Accepted Manuscript: 05 July 2018 Uncorrected proof: 03 August 2018 Published: 01 September 2018

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