ACS applied materials & interfaces

Phenothiazine-sensitized organic solar cells: effect of dye anchor group positioning on the cell performance.

PMID 23043502


Effect of positioning of the cyanoacrylic acid anchoring group on ring periphery of phenothiazine dye on the performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is reported. Two types of dyes, one having substitution on the C-3 aromatic ring (Type 1) and another through the N-terminal (Type 2), have been synthesized for this purpose. Absorption and fluorescence studies have been performed to visualize the effect of substitution pattern on the spectral coverage and electrochemical studies to monitor the tuning of redox levels. B3LYP/6-31G* studies are performed to visualize the frontier orbital location and their significance in charge injection when surface modified on semiconducting TiO₂. New DSSCs have been built on nanocrystalline TiO₂ according to traditional two-electrode Grätzel solar cell setup with a reference cell based on N719 dye for comparison. The lifetime of the adsorbed phenothiazine dye is found to be quenched significantly upon immobilizing on TiO₂ suggesting charge injection from excited dye to semiconducting TiO₂. The performances of the cells are found to be prominent for solar cells made out of Type 1 dyes compared to Type 2 dyes. This trend has been rationalized on the basis of spectral, electrochemical, computational, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy results.