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Molecular Level Factors Affecting the Efficiency of Organic Chromophores for p-Type Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

1
Department of Materials Science and Milano-Bicocca Solar Energy Research Center—MIB-Solar, University of Milano-Bicocca, INSTM Unit, Via Cozzi 55, 20125 Milano, Italy
2
Department of Chemistry, University of Ferrara, Via L. Borsari 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Claudia Barolo
Energies 2016, 9(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9010033
Received: 5 October 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 7 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dye Sensitized Solar Cells)
A series of mono- and di-branched donor-π-acceptor charge-separated dyes incorporating triphenylamine as a donor and either Dalton’s or benzothiadiazole group as strong acceptors was synthesized and its fundamental properties relevant to the sensitization of nanocrystalline NiO investigated. The dyes exhibited an intense visible absorption band with a strong charge transfer character favorable to NiO sensitization, shifting the electron density from the donor to the acceptor branches. Nevertheless, the computed exciton binding energy is circa twice that of a common literature standard (P1), suggesting a more difficult charge separation. When tested in p-type dye-sensitized solar cells the dyes successfully sensitized NiO electrodes, with photocurrent densities about half than that of the reference compound. Being recombination kinetics comparable, the larger photocurrent generated by P1 agrees with the superior charge separation capability originating by its smaller exciton binding energy. View Full-Text
Keywords: dyes; heteroaromatic; visible absorption; dipolar; donor–acceptor; triphenylamine; branched; Suzuki coupling; DFT-TDDFT dyes; heteroaromatic; visible absorption; dipolar; donor–acceptor; triphenylamine; branched; Suzuki coupling; DFT-TDDFT
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Karamshuk, S.; Caramori, S.; Manfredi, N.; Salamone, M.; Ruffo, R.; Carli, S.; Bignozzi, C.A.; Abbotto, A. Molecular Level Factors Affecting the Efficiency of Organic Chromophores for p-Type Dye Sensitized Solar Cells. Energies 2016, 9, 33.

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