A panchromatic anthracene-fused porphyrin sensitizer for dye-sensitized solar cells

Abstract
The development of ruthenium-free sensitizers which absorb light over a broad range of the solar spectrum is important for improving the power conversion efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. Here we study three chemically tailored porphyrin-based dyes. We show that by fusing the porphyrin core to an anthracene unit, we can extend the conjugation length and lower the optical gap, shifting the absorption spectrum into the near-infrared (NIR). All three dyes were tested in dye-sensitized solar cells, using both titanium dioxide and tin dioxide as the electron-transport material. Solar cells incorporating the anthracene-fused porphyrin dye exhibit photocurrent collection at wavelengths up to about 1100 nm, which is the longest reported for a porphyrin-based system. Despite extending the photon absorption bandwidth, device efficiency is found to be low, which is a common property of cells based on porphyrin dyes with NIR absorption. We show that in the present case the efficiency is reduced by inefficient electron injection into the oxide, as opposed to dye regeneration, and highlight some important design considerations for panchromatic sensitizers. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Citation
Ball JM, Davis NKS, Wilkinson JD, Kirkpatrick J, Teuscher J, et al. (2012) A panchromatic anthracene-fused porphyrin sensitizer for dye-sensitized solar cells. RSC Adv 2: 6846. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c2ra20952g.

Acknowledgements
For financial support JMB and HJS acknowledge the European Commission, under the SANS project, grant agreement number 246124; NKSD, JDW, HLA, HJS and JT acknowledge the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; NKSD, JDW and HLA acknowledge the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory; and JK is a member of the Oxford Centre of Collaborative Applied Mathematics (OCCAM) where his work is supported by award number KUK-C1-013-04, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

Publisher
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

Journal
RSC Advances

DOI
10.1039/c2ra20952g

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