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Inorganics 2018, 6(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/inorganics6020053

Copper Complexes with Tetradentate Ligands for Enhanced Charge Transport in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

1
Department of Chemistry, Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 523, SE-75120 Uppsala, Sweden
2
Department of Solid-state Physics, Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 534, SE-75121 Uppsala, Sweden
3
Department of Physics “Ettore Pancini”, University of Naples Federico II, 80126 Naples, Italy
4
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, 80126 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 12 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Coordination Complexes for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSCs))
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Abstract

In dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), the redox mediator is responsible for the regeneration of the oxidized dye and for the hole transport towards the cathode. Here, we introduce new copper complexes with tetradentate 6,6′-bis(4-(S)-isopropyl-2-oxazolinyl)-2,2′-bipyridine ligands, Cu(oxabpy), as redox mediators. Copper coordination complexes with a square-planar geometry show low reorganization energies and thus introduce smaller losses in photovoltage. Slow recombination kinetics of excited electrons between the TiO2 and CuII(oxabpy) species lead to an exceptionally long electron lifetime, a high Fermi level in the TiO2, and a high photovoltage of 920 mV with photocurrents of 10 mA∙cm−2 and 6.2% power conversion efficiency. Meanwhile, a large driving force remains for the dye regeneration of the Y123 dye with high efficiencies. The square-planar Cu(oxabpy) complexes yield viscous gel-like solutions. The unique charge transport characteristics are attributed to a superposition of diffusion and electronic conduction. An enhancement in charge transport performance of 70% despite the higher viscosity is observed upon comparison of Cu(oxabpy) to the previously reported Cu(tmby)2 redox electrolyte. View Full-Text
Keywords: dye-sensitized solar cell; solar cell; copper complex; redox mediator; electrolyte; tetradentate dye-sensitized solar cell; solar cell; copper complex; redox mediator; electrolyte; tetradentate
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Michaels, H.; Benesperi, I.; Edvinsson, T.; Muñoz-Garcia, A.B.; Pavone, M.; Boschloo, G.; Freitag, M. Copper Complexes with Tetradentate Ligands for Enhanced Charge Transport in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells. Inorganics 2018, 6, 53.

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