Conformational engineering of co-sensitizers to retard back charge transfer for high-efficiency dye-sensitized solar cells

Shuai Chang, Hongda Wang, Yong Hua, Quan Li, Xudong Xiao, Wai Kwok Wong, Wai Yeung Wong, Xunjin Zhu, Tao Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate that the post-adsorption of small molecules (a phenothiazine-based dye) on the porphyrin-sensitized TiO2anode surface plays dual roles: (1) to greatly retard the back reaction between conduction-band electrons in TiO2and the oxidized species (I3-) in the electrolyte and (2) to enhance the spectral response of solar cells. These two effects finally give rise to device efficiencies exceeding 10%, which are superior to those of individual dye-sensitized devices by either porphyrin (7.4%) or phenothiazine (8.2%) under the same conditions. Experimental analyses show that the incoming small molecules are adsorbed in the interstitial site of porphyrin dyes, forming densely surface packed molecules and thus impeding the I3-species from approaching the TiO2surface. Since a broad range of ruthenium-based dyes and porphyrin-based photosensitizers possess relatively large molecular volumes, this method is anticipated to be applicable for further improving the energy conversion efficiency of devices sensitized by these two classes of dyes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11553-11558
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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