Metal-free organic dyes for TiO2 and ZnO dye-sensitized solar cells

Gurpreet Singh Selopal, Hui Ping Wu, Jianfeng Lu, Yu Cheng Chang, Mingkui Wang, Alberto Vomiero, Isabella Concina*, Wei-Guang Diau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We report the synthesis and characterization of new metal-free organic dyes (namely B18, BTD-R, and CPTD-R) which designed with D-A concept to extending the light absorption region by strong conjugation group of-linker part and applied as light harvester in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). We compared the photovoltaic performance of these dyes in two different photoanodes: a standard TiO2 mesoporous photoanode and a ZnO photoanode composed of hierarchically assembled nanostructures. The results demonstrated that B18 dye has better photovoltaic properties compared to other two dyes (BTD-R and CPTD-R) and each dye has higher current density (J sc) when applied to hierarchical ZnO nanocrystallites than the standard TiO2 mesoporous film. Transient photocurrent and photovoltage decay measurements (TCD/TVD) were applied to systematically study the charge transport and recombination kinetics in these devices, showing the electron life time (R) of B18 dye in ZnO and TiO2 based DSSCs is higher than CPTD-R and BTD-R based DSSCs, which is consistent with the photovoltaic performances. The conversion efficiency in ZnO based DSSCs can be further boosted by 35%, when a compact ZnO blocking layer (BL) is applied to inhibit electron back reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18756
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - 7 Jan 2016

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