In one aspect of the invention, a dye sensitized solar cell has a counter-electrode including carbon-titania nanocomposite thin films made by forming a carbon-based ink; forming a titania (TiO.sub.2) solution; blade-coating a mechanical mixture of the carbon-based ink and the titania solution onto a substrate; and annealing the blade-coated substrate at a first temperature for a first period of time to obtain the carbon-based titania nanocomposite thin films. In certain embodiments, the carbon-based titania nanocomposite thin films may include solvent-exfoliated graphene titania (SEG-TiO.sub.2) nanocomposite thin films, or single walled carbon nanotube titania (SWCNT-TiO.sub.2) nanocomposite thin films.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS UNDER FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH
 This invention was made with government support under DE-FG02-03ER15457 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.