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V. Chandrakala, J. Annai Joseph Steffy, B. Praveen, K. Pugazhendhi, Tenzin Tenkyong,W. Jothi Jeyarani, J. Merline Shyla

We report the novel one-pot hydrothermal synthesis of one dimensional Titanium di-oxide ( TiO2) nanorods directly on conducting indium tin oxide glass substrate (ITO) using two different precursor materials for photo voltaic applications. Among one dimensional nanostructures, TiO2 nanorods have gained significant interest over the past decade due to its unique optical, electrical and photoelectrochemical properties. Our work shows that titania precursors such as Titanium tetra-isopropoxide (TTIP) and Titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) have significant effects on the structural, morphological and optical properties of as-synthesized nanorods. X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX) and UV-Visible (UV-Vis) absorption spectroscopy were used to characterise the samples. Distinct rutile –phase TiO2 peaks were observed in both the samples synthesized using different precursors. Using Scherrer’s formula, the average crystallite size calculated was found to be of a uniform value ~15 nm with TTIP precursor whereas it possessed varying values in the range of 11-17nm for nanorods with TiCl4. The surface morphology as observed from the FESEM images showed that the nanorod arrays were successfully synthesised on the substrate. It also revealed that the faster hydrolysis rate of TTIP led to the growth of vertically aligned nanorods with the length reaching 4.7 µm, whereas it is comparatively smaller with lengths of about 0.4 µm in case of TiCl4. EDAX spectrum revealed the high purity nature of the synthesised samples, comprising only the elements of TiO2. The prepared TiO2 nanorod arrays exhibited high absorbance properties in the ultraviolet region (< 400nm) as expected but with an increased absorption range for TTIP precursor. We conclude from the findings that the titania nanorods synthesized using TTIP precursor with uniform crystallite size and higher absorption range would capitulate improved surface area and their longer nanorods would facilitate faster electron transport thus rendering a promising photoelectrode for photo voltaic applications.