Effect of Auxiliary Donors on 3,8-Phenothiazine Dyes for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMolecules. 2019, 24 (24), 4485-4494. 10.3390/molecules24244485
Phenothiazines are one of the more common dye scaffolds for dye-sensitized solar cells. However, these sensitizers are exclusively based on a 3,7-substitution pattern. Herein, we have synthesized and characterized novel 3,8-substituted phenothiazine dyes in order to evaluate the effect of auxiliary donor groups on the performance of this new dye class. The power conversion efficiency increased by 7%–10% upon insertion of an auxiliary donor in position 8 of the phenothiazine, but the structure of the auxiliary donor (phenyl, naphthyl, pyrene) had a low impact when electrodes were stained with chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) additive. In the absence of CDCA, the highest power conversion efficiency was seen for the phenyl-based sensitizer attributed to a higher quality dye-monolayer. By comparing the novel dyes to their previously reported 3,7- analogues, only subtle differences were seen in photophysical, electrochemical, and performance measurements. The most notable difference between the two geometries is a lowering of the oxidation potentials of the 3,8-dyes by 40–50 mV compared to the 3,7-analogues. The best auxiliary donor for the 3,8-phenothiazine dyes was found to be pyrenyl, with the best device delivering a power conversion efficiency of 6.23% (99 mW cm−2, 10 eq. CDCA, JSC = 10.20 mA cm−2, VOC = 791 mV, and FF = 0.765).