Isomerization and Aggregation of the Solar Cell Dye D149
2012 (English)In: The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, ISSN 1932-7447, E-ISSN 1932-7455, Vol. 116, no 50, 26144-26153 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
D149, a metal-free indoline dye, is one of the most promising sensitizers for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) and has shown very high solar energy conversion efficiencies of 9%. Effective electron injection from the excited state is a prerequisite for high efficiencies and is lowered by competing deactivation pathways. Previous investigations have shown surprisingly short-lived excited states for this dye, with maximum lifetime components of 100-720 ps in different solvents and less than 120 ps for surface-adsorbed D149. Using steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence, we have investigated the photochemical properties of D149 in nonpolar and polar solvents, polymer matrices, and adsorbed on ZrO2, partially including a coadsorbent. In solution, excitation to the S-2 state yields a product that is identified as a photoisomer. The reaction is reversible, and the involved double-bond is identified by NMR spectroscopy. Our results further show that lifetimes of 100-330 ps in the solvents used are increased to more than 2 ns for D149 in polymer matrices and on ZrO2. This is in part attributed to blocked internal motion due to steric constraint. Conversely, concentration-dependent aggregation leads to a dramatic reduction in lifetimes that can affect solar cell performance. Our results explain the unexpectedly short lifetimes observed previously. We also show that photochemical properties such as lifetimes determined in solution are different from the ones determined on semiconductor surfaces used in solar cells. The obtained mechanistic understanding should help develop design strategies for further improvement of solar cell dyes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 116, no 50, 26144-26153 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-193622DOI: 10.1021/jp306636wISI: 000312519600005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-193622DiVA: diva2:603455