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J Phys Chem B. 2005 Aug 18;109(32):15397-409.

Efficient light harvesting by using green Zn-porphyrin-sensitized nanocrystalline TiO2 films.

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  • 1Laboratory for Photonics and Interfaces, Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


A series of novel zinc metalloporphyrins, cyano-3-(2'-(5',10',15',20'-tetraphenylporphyrinato zinc(II))yl)-acrylic acid (Zn-3), 3-(trans-2'-(5',10',15',20'-tetraphenylporphyrinato zinc(II))yl)-acrylic acid (Zn-5), 2-cyano-5-(2'-(5',10',15',20'-tetraphenylporphyrinato zinc(II))yl)-penta-2,4-dienoic acid (Zn-8), 4-(trans-2'-(2' '-(5' ',10' ',15' ',20' '-tetraphenylporphyrinato zinc(II))yl)ethen-1'-yl))-1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid (Zn-11), and 2-cyano-3-[4'-(trans-2' '-(2' ''-(5' '',10' '',15' '',20' ''-tetraphenylporphyrinato zinc(II))yl) ethen-1' '-yl)-phenyl]-acrylic acid (Zn-13) were synthesized and characterized by using various spectroscopic techniques. Density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent DFT (TDDFT) calculations show that key molecular orbitals (MOs) of porphyrins Zn-5 and Zn-3 are stabilized and extended out onto the substituent by pi-conjugation, causing enhancement and red shifts of visible transitions and increasing the possibility of electron transfer from the substituent. The porphyrins were investigated for conversion of sunlight into electricity by constructing dye-sensitized TiO(2) solar cells using an I(-)/I(3)(-) electrolyte. The cells yield close to 85% incident photon-to-current efficiencies (IPCEs), and under standard AM 1.5 sunlight, the Zn-3-sensitized solar cell demonstrates a short circuit photocurrent density of 13.0 +/- 0.5 mA/cm(2), an open-circuit voltage of 610 +/- 50 mV, and a fill factor of 0.70 +/- 0.03. This corresponds to an overall conversion efficiency of 5.6%, making it the most efficient porphyrin-sensitized solar cell reported to date.

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