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J Org Chem. 2008 May 16;73(10):3791-7. doi: 10.1021/jo800159t. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

Starburst triarylamine based dyes for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells.

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Key Lab for Advanced Materials and Institute of Fine Chemicals, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, PR China.


We report here on the synthesis and photophysical/electrochemical properties of a series of novel starburst triarylamine-based organic dyes (S1, S2, S3, and S4) as well as their application in dye-sensitized nanocrystalline TiO2 solar cells (DSSCs). For the four designed dyes, the starburst triarylamine group and the cyanoacetic acid take the role of electron donor and electron acceptor, respectively. It was found that the introduction of starburst triarylamine group to form the D-D-pi-A configuration brought about superior performance over the simple D-pi-A configuration, in terms of bathochromically extended absorption spectra, enhanced molar extinction coefficients and better thermo-stability. Moreover, the HOMO and LUMO energy levels tuning can be conveniently accomplished by alternating the donor moiety, which was confirmed by electrochemical measurements and theoretical calculations. The DSSCs based on the dye S4 showed the best photovoltaic performance: a maximum monochromatic incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency (IPCE) of 85%, a short-circuit photocurrent density (J(sc)) of 13.8 mA cm(-2), an open-circuit photovoltage (V(oc)) of 0.63 V, and a fill factor (ff) of 0.69, corresponding to an overall conversion efficiency of 6.02% under 100 mW cm(-2) irradiation. This work suggests that the dyes based on starburst triphenylamine donor are promising candidates for improvement of the performance of the DSSCs.

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