Core-shell type photoanode composed of electrically conducting fluorine doped tin dioxide (FTO) matrix and TiO2 shell layer was prepared and applied in dye sensitized solar cells. Effects of fluorine doping on tin dioxide based cells and precursor material on shell layer were investigated. Fluorine doped tin dioxide nanoparticles were synthesized under hydrothermal conditions and resistivity value down to 17 Omega cm was achieved. Cells constructed from FTO nanoparticles show enhanced performance compared to intrinsic SnO2. Deposition of thin blocking TiO2 layers was conducted using ammonium hexafluorotitanate and titanium tetrachloride aqueous solutions for different dipping durations which yielded significant deviations in the layer morphology and affected cell parameters. Best results were obtained with titanium tetrachloride treated cells giving 11.51 mA/cm(2) photocurrent density and they were comparable with that of pure TiO2 based cells prepared under identical conditions. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.