Au nano particles (NPs) were deposited on vertically grown TiO2 nanorod arrays on FTO substrate by hydrothermal process. Metal nanoparticles were loaded onto the surface of TiO2 nanorods via photochemical reduction process under ultraviolet irradiation. X-ray diffraction (XRD), electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis were used to characterize the as-prepared Au/TiO2 nanorod composites. Current density-voltage (I-V) measurements were obtained from a two-electrode sandwich type cell. The presence of Au nanoparticles can help the electron-hole separation by attracting photoelectrons. Addition of Au nanoparticles to the TiO2 nanorod significantly increased the fill factor and J(SC) (short circuit current density). The application of Au NPs TiO2 nanorods in improving the performance of DSSCs is promising. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.