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Porphyrins Containing a Triphenylamine Donor and up to Eight Alkoxy Chains for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells: A High Efficiency of 10.9%

Tang, Yunyu, Wang, Yueqiang, Li, Xin, Ågren, Hans, Zhu, Wei-Hong, Xie, Yongshu
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 v.7 no.50 pp. 27976-27985
absorption, chlorophyll, electrolytes, iodine, photostability, photovoltaic cells, wavelengths
Porphyrins are promising DSSC sensitizers due to their structural similarity to chlorophylls as well as their tunable strong absorption. Herein, a novel D−π–A porphyrin dye XW14 containing a strongly electron-donating triphenylamine moiety as the electron donor was designed and synthesized. To avoid undesirably decreased Vₒc caused by dye aggregation effect, two methoxy or hexyloxy chains were introduced to the para positions of the triphenylamine moiety to afford XW15 and XW16, respectively. To further extend the absorption to a longer wavelength, a benzothiadiazole unit was introduced as an auxiliary acceptor to furnish XW17. Compared with XW14, the introduction of additional methoxy or hexyloxy groups in XW15 and XW16 red-shift the onset wavelengths from 760 to 780 and 790 nm, respectively. More impressively, XW17 has a more extended π-conjugation framework, and thus, it exhibits a much broader IPCE spectrum with an extremely red-shifted onset wavelength of 830 nm, resulting in the highest Jₛc (18.79 mA cm–²). On the other hand, the hexyloxy chains are favorable for suppressing the dye aggregation effect, and thus XW16 shows the highest Vₒc of 734 mV. As a result, XW16 and XW17 demonstrate photovoltaic efficiencies of 9.1 and 9.5%, respectively, higher than those of XW14 (8.6%) and XW15 (8.7%), and obviously higher than that of 7.94% for our previously reported dye, XW4. On the basis of optimized porphyrin dye XW17, we used a nonporphyrin dye with a high Vₒc and strong absorption around 500 nm (WS-5) as the cosensitizer to improve the Vₒc from 700 to 748 mV, with synergistical Jₛc enhancement from 18.79 to 20.30 mA cm–². Thus, the efficiency was dramatically enhanced to 10.9%, which is among the highest efficiencies obtained for the DSSCs based on traditional iodine electrolyte. In addition, the DSSCs based on XW17 + WS-5 exhibit good photostability, which is beneficial for practical applications.