Materials Chemistry and Physics, Vol.163, 348-354, 2015
Effect of carboxyl anchoring groups in asymmetric zinc phthalocyanine with large steric hindrance on the dye-sensitized solar cell performance
Asymmetric zinc phthalocyanines containing tribenzonaphtho-condensed porphyrazine with six bulky diphenylphenoxy and one or two carboxyl groups are used as sensitizers for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). It is found that Zn-tri-PcNc-4 having two carboxyl groups shows a slight redshift in the Q-band absorption but a significantly decreased absorbance as compared with Zn-tri-PcNc-8 having one carboxyl group, and Zn-tri-PcNc-4 can be more stably and perpendicularly grafted onto the TiO2 surface than Zn-tri-PcNc-8, which further leads to the differences in the interfacial charge transfer dynamics and dye-loaded amount. Zn-tri-PcNc-4 with two carboxyl groups grafted onto the TiO2 electrode surface of DSSC results in a photovoltaic conversion efficiency of 3.22%, higher than that (3.01%) of the analog with one carboxyl group (Zn-tri-PcNc-8), which exhibits a lower short-circuit current but much higher opencircuit voltage. The additional carboxyl group in Zn-tri-PcNc-4 leads to the enhanced dye-loaded amount and the molecular orbital energy level shift toward positive direction, causing more efficient electron injection and higher short-circuit current than Zn-tri-PcNc-8; while the two carboxyl groups of Zn-tri-PcNc-4 would cause more protonation of TiO2 surface, which possibly leads to the downward shift of TiO2 conduction band edge, and then to the decreased open-circuit voltage. The present results demonstrate the molecular engineering aspect of ZnPc dyes in which the fine tuning of the energy levels and molecular structures is crucial for high conversion efficiency of DSSCs. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.