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Inorganics 2018, 6(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/inorganics6020040

Effects of Introducing Methoxy Groups into the Ancillary Ligands in Bis(diimine) Copper(I) Dyes for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Building 1096, Mattenstrasse 24a, CH-4058 Basel, Switzerland
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Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Coordination Complexes for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSCs))
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Abstract

A systematic investigation of four heteroleptic bis(diimine) copper(I) dyes in n-type Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs) is presented. The dyes are assembled using a stepwise, on-surface assembly. The dyes contain a phosphonic acid-functionalized 2,2′-bipyridine (bpy) anchoring domain (5) and ancillary bpy ligands that bear peripheral phenyl (1), 4-methoxyphenyl (2), 3,5-dimethoxyphenyl (3), or 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl (4) substituents. In masked DSSCs, the best overall photoconversion efficiency was obtained with the dye [Cu(5)(4)]+ (1.96% versus 5.79% for N719). Values of JSC for both [Cu(5)(2)]+ (in which the 4-MeO group is electron releasing) and [Cu(5)(4)]+ (which combines electron-releasing and electron-withdrawing effects of the 4- and 3,5-substituents) and are enhanced with respect to [Cu(5)(1)]+. DSSCs with [Cu(5)(3)]+ show the lowest JSC. Solid-state absorption spectra and external quantum efficiency spectra reveal that [Cu(5)(4)]+ benefits from an extended spectral range at higher energies. Values of VOC are in the order [Cu(5)(4)]+ > [Cu(5)(1)]+ > [Cu(5)(2)]+ > [Cu(5)(3)]+. Density functional theory calculations suggest that methoxyphenyl character in MOs within the HOMO manifold in [Cu(5)(2)]+ and [Cu(5)(4)]+ may contribute to the enhanced performances of these dyes with respect to [Cu(5)(1)]+. View Full-Text
Keywords: copper; 2,2′-bipyridine; dye-sensitized solar cell; solar energy conversion; methoxy-substitution copper; 2,2′-bipyridine; dye-sensitized solar cell; solar energy conversion; methoxy-substitution
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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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Büttner, A.; Brauchli, S.Y.; Constable, E.C.; Housecroft, C.E. Effects of Introducing Methoxy Groups into the Ancillary Ligands in Bis(diimine) Copper(I) Dyes for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells. Inorganics 2018, 6, 40.

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