FTO pieces were sonicated in soap solution

FTO pieces were sonicated in soap solution, followed by DI water, and finally in IPA (for 15 min each), then boiled in IPA. The washed pieces were dried in Ar. They were finally treated with O2 plasma and used for further purposes.TiO2 blocking layer
7.25 mL EtOH + 500 µL Ti-isopropoxide, and 75 µL conc. HCl were mixed while stirring. This solution (40 µL) was spin cast on the FTO substrates at 5000 rpm for 45 s (the acceleration being 500 rpm/s). The films were annealed in the furnace at 500 °C for 1 hour (ramp: 10 °C/min).
Mesoporous TiO2 film
18NR-T Dyesol TiO2 paste => dilute it by wt by 3.5 times using EtOH. Sonicate to make a uniform suspension and stir it. Cover the edges of the 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm substrates with scotch tape. Spin coat 40 µL of this paste on each of these squared FTO pieces at 4000 rpm for 30 s (the acceleration being 500 rpm/s) on each substrate. Anneal the films using the temperature-time program mentioned above.

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