Synthesis of organic photosensitizers containing dithienogermole and thiadiazolo[3,4-c]pyridine units for dye-sensitized solar cells†
Dithienogermole (DTG) is a germanium-bridged bithiophene system that has been applied as a building unit of conjugated materials for organic electronic devices, including organic photovoltaics and organic light emitting diodes. However, DTG has not been used as a component of sensitizers for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). In this work, we have synthesized three D–π-A–π-A type sensitizers containing DTG and thiadiazolo[3,4-c]pyridine (PTz). We expected that combining DTG and a strong acceptor PTz would give rise to a strong absorption in the visible region. In addition, we introduced bulky 2-ethylhexyl groups on the germanium atom to prevent dye aggregation on TiO2 films. Three DTG-containing dyes with different anchor units were synthesized and their optical/electrochemical properties were investigated. The DTG-containing dyes exhibited broad and strong absorption bands around 600 nm on TiO2. We fabricated DSSCs based on the DTG-containing dyes. The onsets of incident photon to current conversion efficiency (IPCE) spectra reached 900 nm and a maximal power conversion efficiency of 2.76% was achieved.