Panchromatic Sensitizer for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells: Unsymmetrical Squaraine Dyes Incorporating Benzodithiophene π-Spacer with Alkyl Chains to Extend Conjugation, Control the Dye Assembly on TiO2, and Retard Charge Recombination

Rajesh Bisht, Fairoos K. Munavvar, Ambarish Kumar Singh, Jayaraj Nithyanandhan

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39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Metal-free near-infrared (NIR) active unsymmetrical squaraine dyes, RSQ1 and RSQ2, with benzodithiophene (BDT) π-spacer and cyanoacrylic acid acceptor were synthesized by utilizing palladium catalyzed direct (hetero)arylation reaction. Methyl and 2-ethylhexyl groups were strategically placed at the BDT unit for RSQ1 and RSQ2, respectively, to investigate the effect of alkylated π-spacer on dye aggregation on the TiO2 surface and recombination reactions at TiO2/dye/electrolyte interface. These dyes have strong absorption (ϵ > 105 M-1 cm-1) in near-infrared (NIR) region and exhibit similar optical and electrochemical properties as they have same conjugated framework. RSQ2 performed better than RSQ1 owing to its higher open-circuit voltage (Voc) and fill factor (ff) in spite of having comparable short-circuit current density (Jsc). The panchromatic incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency (IPCE) response was also observed for both the dyes. RSQ2 showed power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 6.72% with short-circuit current density (Jsc) of 18.53 mA/cm2, open circuit voltage (Voc) of 0.538 V, and fill factor (ff) of 67.4%, without any coadsorbent. Attenuation of the charge recombination for RSQ2 was revealed by electrochemical impedance analysis (EIS) and open-circuit potential decay transients (OCVD), which attributes to its higher Voc and ff in comparison to RSQ1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1920-1930
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Volume82
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry

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