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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2019 Jul 10;11(27):24067-24077. doi: 10.1021/acsami.9b05510. Epub 2019 Jun 28.

D-π-A-Structured Porphyrins with Extended Auxiliary π-Spacers for Highly Efficient Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells.


Zn(II)-porphyrin dyes (SGT-030 and SGT-031) with extended auxiliary π-spacers in the donor (D) part have been prepared and applied to dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The porphyrin dyes contained the same D-ethynyl-zinc porphyrinyl (ZnP)-ethynyl-benzothiadiazole-acceptor platform, but their donor groups varied from phenylene (Ph) in SGT-053 as a reference dye to the thieno[3,2-b]benzothiophene (TBT) and 4-hexyl-4H-thieno[3,2-b]indole (TI) moieties in SGT-030 and SGT-031, respectively. The effects of the extended auxiliary π-spacer in the D-π-A-structured porphyrin sensitizers on the molecular and photovoltaic properties were investigated via photophysical and electrochemical experiments as well as theoretical calculations. With the trend in conjugation length (Ph < TBTTI) and the donating ability of the π-spacer (Ph < TBT < TI), the absorption maxima and molecular absorptivity increased in the order SGT-053 (Ph) < SGT-030 (TBT) < SGT-031 (TI). The incorporation of TBT and TI promoted significant enhancements in the light-harvesting properties by reducing the energy gap and efficiently improving electronic communication. The DSSCs based on SGT-030 (10.80%) and SGT-031 (10.89%) with coadsorption of 4-(3,6-bis(4-((2-ethylhexyl)oxy)phenyl)-9H-carbazol-9-yl)benzoic acid in conjunction with the [Co(bpy)3]2+/3+-based electrolyte showed better power conversion efficiency than that of SGT-053 (9.10%). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis unveiled that the difference in Jsc and Voc originates mainly from the twisted orientation between D and ZnP by the introduction of TBT and TI. This result indicated that the introduction of an extended auxiliary π-spacer in the donor part is a rational molecular design approach to improve photovoltaic performance by enhancing the light-harvesting ability and hindering charge recombination on the TiO2 photoanode.


D−π−A-structured organic sensitizers; band gap; donor auxiliary π-spacers; dye-sensitized solar cell; light-harvesting effect; porphyrins


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