Abstract High efficiency and flexibility of plastic-based dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) are the necessary prerequisites for industrial applications. In this study, light scattering layers are prepared to improve the efficiency and bending resistance of the plastic-based DSCs by both room temperature cold spraying (RTCS) and spray deposition (SD) method. The effect of the adhesion between the TiO2 scattering layer and TiO2 nanocrystalline (NC) layer on both the energy conversion efficiency and bending resistance of the plastic-based DSCs are investigated. Results show that both RTCS-TiO2 and SD-TiO2 scattering layers yield much higher light-reflecting ability than the TiO2 NC layer. However, the adhesion between the TiO2 scattering layer and TiO2 NC layer for the NC + RTCS cell is higher than the NC + SD cell. The better adhesion results in higher efficiency and better bending resistance for the NC + RTCS cell than the NC + SD cell. In addition, it is found that the increasing ratio of the energy conversion efficiency for the plastic-based DSCs through the introduction of TiO2 scattering layer decreases significantly with increasing the thickness of TiO2 NC layer. By using the TiO2 NC layer with an optimized thickness, a highest efficiency of 5.24% is achieved for the plastic-based DSCs using an RTCS-TiO2 scattering layer.