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J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Jul 13;133(27):10662-7. doi: 10.1021/ja2042172. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Energy and hole transfer between dyes attached to titania in cosensitized dye-sensitized solar cells.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Cosensitization of broadly absorbing ruthenium metal complex dyes with highly absorptive near-infrared (NIR) organic dyes is a clear pathway to increase near-infrared light harvesting in liquid-based dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). In cosensitized DSCs, dyes are intimately mixed, and intermolecular charge and energy transfer processes play an important role in device performance. Here, we demonstrate that an organic NIR dye incapable of hole regeneration is able to produce photocurrent via intermolecular energy transfer with an average excitation transfer efficiency of over 25% when cosensitized with a metal complex sensitizing dye (SD). We also show that intermolecular hole transfer from the SD to NIR dye is a competitive process with dye regeneration, reducing the internal quantum efficiency and the electron lifetime of the DSC. This work demonstrates the general feasibility of using energy transfer to boost light harvesting from 700 to 800 nm and also highlights a key challenge for developing highly efficient cosensitized dye-sensitized solar cells.


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