Electrospun TiO2 nanofibers incorporated with graphene nanoflakes for energy conversion

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Shinde, Manish A.
Alarifi, Ibrahim M.
Alharbi, Abdulaziz
Asmatulu, Ramazan

Manish A. Shinde ; Ibrahim Alarifi ; Abdulaziz Alharbi ; Ramazan Asmatulu; Electrospun TiO2 nanofibers incorporated with graphene nanoflakes for energy conversion . Proc. SPIE 9439, Smart Materials and Nondestructive Evaluation for Energy Systems 2015, 94390Z (March 27, 2015); doi:10.1117/12.2087206.


Solar energy has been used in many different ways, including solar water heater, solar cooking, space heating, and electricity generation. The major drawbacks of the solar energy conversion systems are the lower conversion efficiency and higher manufacturing and replacement costs. In order to eliminate these obstacles, many studies were focused on the energy and cost efficiencies of the solar cells (particularly dye sensitized solar cells DSSC and thin film solar cells). In the present study, TiO2 nanofibers incorporated with graphene nanoflakes (0, 2, 4, and 8wt.%) were produced using electrospinning process. The chemical utilized for the electrospinning process included poly (vinyle acetate), dimetylfomamide (DMF), titanium (IV) isopropoxide and acetic acid in the presence and absence of graphene nanoflakes. The resultant nanofibers were heat treated at 300 degrees C for 2 hrs in a standard oven to remove all the organic parts of the nanofibers, and then further heated up to 500 degrees C in an argon atmosphere for additional 12 hrs to crystalline the nanofibers. SEM, TEM and XRD studies showed that graphene and TiO2 nanofibers are well integrated in the nanofiber structures. This study may guide some of the scientists and engineers to tailor the energy bang gap structures of some of the semiconductor materials for different industrial applications, including DSSC, water splitting, catalyst, batteries, and fuel cell.

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