Porphyrin-based dyes recently have become good candidates for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). However, the bottleneck is how to further improve their light-harvesting ability. In this work, N-annulated perylene (NP) was used to functionalize the Zn-porphyrin, and four "push-pull"-type NP-substituted and fused porphyrin dyes with intense absorption in the visible and even in the near-infrared (NIR) region were synthesized. Co(II/III)-based DSC device characterizations revealed that dyes WW-5 and WW-6, in which an ethynylene spacer is incorporated between the NP and porphyrin core, showed pantochromatic photon-to-current conversion efficiency action spectra in the visible and NIR region, with a further red-shift of about 90 and 60 nm, respectively, compared to the benchmark molecule YD2-o-C8. As a result, the short-circuit current density was largely increased, and the devices displayed power conversion efficiencies as high as 10.3% and 10.5%, respectively, which is comparable to that of the YD2-o-C8 cell (η = 10.5%) under the same conditions. On the other hand, the dye WW-3 in which the NP unit is directly attached to the porphyrin core showed a moderate power conversion efficiency (η = 5.6%) due to the inefficient π-conjugation, and the NP-fused dye WW-4 exhibited even poorer performance due to its low-lying LUMO energy level and nondisjointed HOMO/LUMO profile. Our detailed physical measurements (optical and electrochemical), density functional theory calculations, and photovoltaic characterizations disclosed that the energy level alignment, the molecular orbital profile, and dye aggregation all played very important roles on the interface electron transfer and charge recombination kinetics. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry