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Issue 4, 2018
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The influence of phosphonic acid protonation state on the efficiency of bis(diimine)copper(I) dye-sensitized solar cells

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Abstract

We present an investigation of the effects of a change in the protonation state of the phosphonic acid anchoring ligand in the dye [Cu(H41)(2)][PF6] (H41 = ((6,6′-dimethyl-[2,2′-bipyridine]-4,4′-diyl)bis(4,1-phenylene))bis(phosphonic acid), 2 = 4,4′-bis(4-bromophenyl)-6,6′-dimethyl-2,2′-bipyridine) on the performance of n-type dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). FTO/TiO2 electrodes were immersed in solutions of H41 in the presence of base (0–4 equivalents). TiO2-anchored heteroleptic copper(I) sensitizers were subsequently formed by ligand exchange between the homoleptic complex [Cu(2)2][PF6] and the anchored ligand [H4−n1]n. The results demonstrate that the addition of one equivalent of base during the initial surface functionalization can afford up to a 26% increase in DSC efficiency, while the addition of ≥3 equivalents of base significantly hinders DSC performance. Deprotonation of H41 has been investigated using 1H and 31P NMR spectroscopic titrations. Further insight into DSC performance has been gained by using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and a comparison is made between DSCs in which the working electrodes are either pre-treated with a base, or exposed to a base post heteroleptic copper(I) dye-assembly.

Graphical abstract: The influence of phosphonic acid protonation state on the efficiency of bis(diimine)copper(i) dye-sensitized solar cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Dec 2017, accepted on 16 Jan 2018 and first published on 24 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00586E
Citation: Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2018,2, 786-794
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    The influence of phosphonic acid protonation state on the efficiency of bis(diimine)copper(I) dye-sensitized solar cells

    A. J. Stephens, F. J. Malzner, E. C. Constable and C. E. Housecroft, Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2018, 2, 786
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00586E

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