Templating processes with monodisperse polystyrene particles are being explored for a number of application areas, especially in microelectronics and optics. Classically, these depend on rather slow-drying steps that allow for the polystyrene particles to gradually situate themselves into ordered arrays and patterns. On the other hand, many manufacturing processes are designed to operate much more rapidly (spin-coating, roll-coating, spray-coating, etc.). The present work investigates the behavior of nanoparticle(titania)-microparticle (polystyrene) hybrid solutions when processed with these rapid techniques. Very thin coatings were examined where the larger-template particle-particle interactions can be quantifiably observed and measured. This gives us insight into the conditions when structural order might be achievable in materials systems using these rapid, industrially important, coating techniques. The specific system that was investigated involves nano-scale titanium dioxide particles combined with monodisperse micron-scale polystyrene template particles aimed at building flexible dye-sensitized solar cells. For this application, the formation of strong physical networks of titanium dioxide nanoparticles with percolating interparticle channels for the electrolyte phase to reach all surfaces where dye molecules will reside is required.
- Particle interactions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering