Effects of interfacial adsorption configurations on dye-sensitized solar cell performance at the stoichiometric and defective TiO2 anatase (101) surfaces: a theoretical investigation†
Interfacial adsorption configuration plays a crucial role in influencing the photovoltaic performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), and thus, theoretical investigations are needed to further understand the impacts of different absorption configurations on stoichiometric and defective TiO2(101) surfaces on the short-circuit photocurrent density (JSC) and open-circuit voltage (VOC) of DSSCs. Herein, calculations of isolated dyes and dye/TiO2 systems were performed on the donor–π bridge–acceptor (D–π–A) type porphyrin sensitizers bearing different donor moieties and an α-cyanoacrylic acid anchoring group (T1–3), using DFT and TD-DFT methods. And, for the first time, comparative analysis of interfacial electron transfer (IET) and density of states (DOS) were carried out on dye/TiO2 systems with stoichiometric and defective surfaces to provide further insight into the electronic factors influencing the efficiency of DSSCs, which can well explain the experimental variation trends of JSC and VOC values. It turned out that attachment via the carboxyl and cynao groups in a tridentate binding mode can result in more efficient IET rates and an upshifted conduction band in comparison with those of the bidentate attachment. More interestingly, we found that the adsorption configuration on defective surfaces containing an O2c vacancy induced more upshifted CBM and relatively fast IET, especially for the bonding mode through two O atoms of the carboxyl group.