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P-type dye-sensitized solar cells based on pseudorotaxane mediated charge-transfer


The efficiency of p-type dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) remains low compared to n-type congeners due to charge recombination events. We report a supramolecular approach to reduce recombination at the NiO–electrolyte interface, realized by using the cyclophane cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) ring (RING4+/RING3●+) as a redox mediator and a dye (PN) functionalized with a 1,5-dioxynaphthalene (DNP) recognition site, promoting the supramolecular formation of a pseudorotaxane capable of directing charge transfer away from the dye–electrolyte interface. The binding affinity of RING4+ to PN is high (Kass = 3.4 × 104 M-1) with quenching of the photoexcited dye (PN*) ascribed to reduction of RING4+ to RING3●+. The reduced RING3●+ exhibits a lower binding affinity to PN facilitating exchange with the excess RING4+ present in solution. This supramolecular phenomenon was implemented into p-type DSSCs, by anchoring the PN dye on a NiO photocathode in conjunction with the RING4+/RING3●+ redox couple, yielding a 10 fold enhancement in short-circuit photocurrent (JSC) compared to control devices utilizing the P1 dye or methylviologen (MV2+/MV●+) redox couple that cannot form pseudorotxanes.

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Nov 2018, accepted on 23 Jan 2019 and first published on 23 Jan 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8FD00169C
Citation: Faraday Discuss., 2019, Accepted Manuscript

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    P-type dye-sensitized solar cells based on pseudorotaxane mediated charge-transfer

    T. Bouwens, S. Mathew and J. N. H. Reek, Faraday Discuss., 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8FD00169C

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