Rapid, simple method for determining the porosity of mesoporous TiO2 films using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM)

Andrew Mills, Luke Burns, Christopher O'Rourke, Henrik Madsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two different mesoporous films of TiO2 were coated onto a QCM disc and fired at 450o C for 30 min. The first film was derived from a sol-gel paste that was popular in the early days of dye-sensitised solar cell, i.e. dssc, research, a TiO2(sg) film. The other was a commercial colloidal paste used to make examples of the current dssc cell; a TiO2(ds) film. A QCM was used to determine the mass of the TiO2 film deposited on each disc and the increase in the mass of the film when immersed in water/glycerol solutions with wt% values spanning the range 0-70%. The results of this work reveal that with both TiO2 mesoporous films the solution fills the film's pores and acts as a rigid mass, thereby allowing the porosity of each film to be calculated as: 59.1% and 71.6% for the TiO2(sg) and TiO2(ds) films, respectively. These results, coupled with surface area data, allowed the pore radii of the two films to be calculated as: 9.6 and 17.8 nm, respectively. This method is then simplified further, to just a few frequency measurements in water and only air to reveal the same porosity values. The value of the latter ‘one point’ method for making porosity measurements is discussed briefly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalSolar Energy Materials & Solar Cells
Volume144
Early online date11 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

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