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A detailed experimental and theoretical investigation of the role of cyano group in the π-bridged acceptor of sensitizers for use in dye-sensitized solar cells

Abstract

Three donor-π conjugated unit-acceptor (D–π–A) type zinc porphyrin sensitizers LX1, LX2 and LX3 bearing the meso acrylic acid, α- cyanoacrylic acid, and α-cyanopentadienoic acid, respectively, as the π-bridged acceptor have been designed and synthesized for use in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). The interesting role of the cyano group attached to the α position of the acrylic and pentadienoic acid acceptor was investigated. It was shown that even though the introducing of the cyano group and the elongation of the π-bridge can both increase the light-harvesting as indicated by the UV-Vis absorption spectra, the relevant cell performance dropped significantly. The photo to power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of the devices increase in the order of LX1> LX2> LX3, with the highest PCE of 6.04% achieved for LX1-based cell, which bears the acrylic acid as the π–bridged acceptor. To further explore the effect of –CN and –CH=CH– on the interaction between the absorbed dye and TiO2 substrate, the theoretical calculations including the density of states (DOS) and partial density of states (PDOS), as well as electronic properties were investigated in detail. The results suggest that introducing the -CN group into the acceptor and extending the conjugation of the π-bridge has decreased the LUMO levels of the dyes, leading to weak interfacial coupling, low electron injection driving force, low Jsc, and thus the poor cell performance.

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Jul 2017, accepted on 10 Oct 2017 and first published on 10 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04642A
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    A detailed experimental and theoretical investigation of the role of cyano group in the π-bridged acceptor of sensitizers for use in dye-sensitized solar cells

    B. Zhang, Q. Xu, G. Yang, Y. Ren, F. Lu, N. Zhang, M. Qamar, M. Yang and Y. Feng, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04642A

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