Publication Date

Fall 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical and Materials Engineering


Stacy Gleixner

Subject Areas

Materials Science; Nanotechnology


Titania (TiO2) nanorods have shown promise for applicability in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) and may present a cost-effective solution for the fabrication of efficient and affordable solar power generation. In contrast to traditional silicon solar cell fabrication, the fabrication of DSSCs does not require expensive high energy, vacuum, and temperature processes. Titania nanorods have the potential to increase the electron transport rate in DSSCs by forming a direct electrical pathway, thus improving the performance. This study set out to investigate ways in which titania nanorod hydrothermal growth could be enhanced and made more reliable through (1) experimentation with procedures to control temperature and pressure to hydrothermally grow titania nanotubes in a more reproducible way, and (2) experimentation with different additives to study their effect on nanorod growth. Optimum nanorod growth occurred when the temperature and pressure were kept constant. Use of multiple molecular weights of polyethylene gyclol (PEG) as an additive was shown to significantly enhance nanorod growth.