Inorganic chemistry

Effect of Extended Conjugation of N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Based Sensitizers on the Performance of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells.

PMID 29019659


We report the synthesis, characterization, and photovoltaic properties of four ruthenium complexes (CI101, CBTR, CB111, and CB108) having various N-heterocyclic carbene ancillary ligands, pyridine-imidazole, -benzimidazole, -dithienobenzimidazole, and -phenanthroimidazole, respectively. These complexes were designed to investigate the effect of extended conjugation ordained from ring fusion on the power conversion efficiencies of the solar cells. The device sensitized by CB108, the pyridine-phenanthroimidazole conjugated complex, showed an improved efficiency (9.89%) compared to those of pyridine-benzimidazole conjugated system (CBTR, 9.72%) and the parent unfused ring system (CI101, 6.24%). Surprisingly, the sulfur-incorporated pyridine-dithienobenzimidazole system (CB111, 9.24%) exhibited a little lower efficiency than that of N719 (9.41%). The enhanced photovoltaic performance of CB108 was mainly attributed to the increase in electron lifetime and diffusion length confirmed by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.