A novel preparation method of solid state photovoltaic carbon nanotubes (CNT) yarns has been successfully developed by depositing and grafting TiO2 thin films on CNT yarn substrates using a simple sol–gel method and designed for use in structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. The interaligned, ultrastrong and flexible CNYs display excellent electrical conductivity, mechanical integrity and their catalytic properties have been successfully used as working and counter electrodes. The TiO2 nanoparticles have been found to form a homogeneous thin film on the yarn surface, which shows efficient photovoltaic properties with remarkable stability when exposed to simulated solar light (AM 1.5). The yarns’ structure is not altered upon sol-gel treatment and light exposure. The TiO2 film is firmly anchored and the photovoltaic performance is retained even after multiple irradiation cycles. This preparation technique can also be applied to CNT yarn reinforced composite for an innovative in-situ and real-time self damage-sensing properties with infused triboluminescent (TL) materials.

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