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In order to increase the conversion efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells, TiO photoanode surface is often covered with a metal oxide layer to form a core-shell composite structure. Different metal oxide coating on TiO as composite photoanodes can affect the cell efficiency variously. However, there still lacks the crosswise comparison among the effects of different metal oxides on TiO photoanode. In this study, TiO was coated with AlO, CaO, ZnO, MgO, FeO or BiO separately by liquid phase deposition method. The results indicated that cells with TiO/AlO, TiO/ZnO, TiO/CaO, or TiO/MgO composite film as a photoanode had higher conversion efficiency than those with un-coated TiO films. TiO/AlO showed the highest efficiency and TiO/CaO ranked second. On the contrary, cells with TiO/BiO or TiO/FeO composite film as a photoanode had lower conversion efficiency than those with un-coated TiO films. The mechanism of the cell efficiency change was also investigated. To get higher conversion efficiency, matched energy level of the metal oxide with TiO is the first prerequisite, and then the optimum coating thickness is also a necessary condition.


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