Mesoporous Crystalline Titania Polymeric Solar Cells

Creating solar cells with the advantages of both inorganic and organic solar cells


The goal of this project is to create a solar cell using charge-conducting polymer and mesoporous, crystalline titania. The pores of the titania are first coated in a small organic molecule (the mediator) to convert the surface from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. Then, the hydrophobic polymer will diffuse from solution into the pores. The polymer we are currently employing is poly(3-hexylthiophene). Thus, the titania and the polymer form an interpenetrating network. When sunlight hits the solar cell, an electron in the polymer becomes excited. It transfers to the titania through the mediator, and then to the cathode. Due to the interpenetrating network, the electron only has to diffuse a few nanometers to the titania. The hole left behind in the polymer from the electron is filled by the anode, completing the circuit.

Titania solar cell