Kinetic study of carminic acid and santalin natural dyes in dye-sensitized solar cells
2016 (English)In: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, ISSN 1010-6030, E-ISSN 1873-2666, Vol. 325, 1-8 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The performance of natural dyes in dye-sensitized solar cells is usually worse than that of purpose-built organic dyes. Here, we set out to investigate the underlying origins. Two natural dyes, carminic acid and santalin, were selected as potential sensitizers for dye-sensitized solar cells. They were compared to a state-of-the-art organic sensitizer, LEG4, in devices using relatively thin (5 mu m), transparent mesoporous TiO2 electrodes and iodide/triiodide redox electrolyte in the low-volatile solvent 3-methoxypropionitrile. All dyes adsorbed well onto mesoporous TiO2 electrodes, giving it bright red colors. The power conversion efficiency of the natural dyes, about 0.5%, was poor compared to that of LEG4 under identical conditions (5.6%), due to both lower open circuit potentials and photocurrent densities. The origin of low efficiencies was investigated using a wide range of experimental techniques, such as (spectro)electrochemistry, ns-laser transient absorption spectroscopy and transient photocurrent and photovoltage measurements. The kinetics for regeneration of the oxidized natural dyes by iodide was found to about ten times slower than that of LEG4. This is probably due to the lower driving force for this reaction. Significant electron recombination to oxidized dye molecules and possibly poor electron injection efficiency caused the poor performance of the two natural dyes in dye-sensitized solar cells. In addition, for carminic acid electron injection into the conduction band of TiO2 appears to be poor. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 325, 1-8 p.
Mesoporous TiO2, Organic sensitzers, Iodide/triiodide redox couple, Electron transfer reactions, Spectroelectrochemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-302215DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2016.03.022ISI: 000376708700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-302215DiVA: diva2:956930
FunderSwedish Energy Agency