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  • Author: K. Sakthivel x
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P. Naresh Kumar, K. Sakthivel and V. Balasubramanian


Rice shaped ZnO nanoparticles have been synthesized for the first time by a biological process using Amorphophallus konjac tuber extract and used as a photoanode in a dye sensitized solar cell. The glucomannan present in aqueous tuber extract acted as a reducing agent in the synthesis process, further it also acted as a template which modified and controlled the shape of the nanoparticles. The synthesized nanoparticles were dried by microwave irradiation followed by annealing at 400 °C. The FESEM and TEM images confirmed that the synthesized ZnO nanoparticles had rice shaped morphology. Furthermore, the X-ray diffraction studies revealed that the prepared ZnO nanoparticles exhibited wurtzite phase with average particle size of 17.9 nm. The UV-Vis spectroscopy studies confirmed the value of band gap energy of biosynthesized ZnO nanoparticles as 3.11 eV. The photoelectrodes for dye sensitized solar cells were prepared with the biosynthesized ZnO nanoparticles using doctor blade method. The photoelectrode was sensitized using the fruit extract of Terminalia catappa, flower extracts of Callistemon citrinus and leaf extracts of Euphorbia pulcherrima. The dye sensitized solar cells were fabricated using the sensitized photoelectrode and their open circuit voltages and short circuit current densities were found to be in the range of 0.45 V to 0.55 V and 5.6 mA/cm2 to 6.8 mA/cm2, respectively. Thus, the photovoltaic performances of all the natural dye sensitized ZnO solar cells show better conversion efficiencies due to the morphology and preparation technique.