The subject of the current study is a concoct of anatase and rutile mixed phase titania synthesized at -40 °C and -10 °C. At these sub-zero temperatures, highly crystalline, phase-oriented nanostructured titania were formed. At -40 °C, nanocrystals of TiO2 consist of the anatase phase while nanorods dominated by the rutile phase form at -10 °C. These samples are remarkable photoanode materials with excellent photon scattering ability in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). On performance optimization of DSSCs, a composition of 0.5 wt% TiO2 (prepared at -40 °C) and P25 improved the photon harvesting by providing a large number of sites for interaction, resulting in a high photocurrent of 18.46 mA cm-2 and 8.6% photoconversion efficiency. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2016.