Novel unsymmetrically π-elongated porphyrins, in which the naphthyl moiety is fused to the porphyrin core at the naphthyl bridge with a carboxyl group (fused-Zn-1) or at the opposite side of the phenyl bridge with a carboxyl group (fused-Zn-2), have been synthesized to improve the light-harvesting abilities in porphyrin-sensitized solar cells. As the results of π-elongation with low symmetry, Soret and Q bands of fused-Zn-1 and fused-Zn-2 were red-shifted and broadened, and the intensity of Q-band relative to that of Soret band was enhanced. The fused-Zn-1 and fused-Zn-2-sensitized TiO2 solar cells showed the power conversion efficiencies (η) of 4.1% and 1.1%, respectively, under standard AM 1.5 conditions. The η value of the fused-Zn-1 cell was improved by 50% compared to the reference cell using unfused porphyrin (Zn-1). The fused-Zn-1-sensitized cell revealed high IPCE (incident photon-to-current efficiency) values of up to 55%, extending the response of photocurrent generation close to 800 nm. Thus, the improved photocurrent generation of the fused-Zn-1-sensitized cell relative to the Zn-1-sensitized reference cell is responsible for the remarkable difference in the η values. The η value of the fused-Zn-2 cell was much lower than that of the fused-Zn-1 cell. DFT calculations disclosed that there are significant electron densities on the carboxyl group in the LUMO of fused-Zn-1, whereas there are little electron densities on the carboxyl group in the LUMO of fused-Zn-2. Accordingly, the larger electronic coupling between the porphyrin and the TiO2 surface in the fused-Zn-1-sensitized cell may be responsible for the high cell performance, due to the efficient electron injection from the porphyrin excited singlet state to the conduction band of the TiO2 electrodes. To further improve the cell performance, 5-(4-carboxylphenyl)-10,15, 20-tetrakis-(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)porphyrinatozinc(II) (Zn-3), possessing different light-harvesting properties, was coadsorbed with fused-Zn-1 onto an TiO2 electrode. Under the optimized conditions, the cosensitized cell yielded maximal IPCE value of 86%, short circuit photocurrent density of 11.7 mA cm-2, open-circuit voltage of 0.67 V, fill factor of 0.64, and η of 5.0% under standard AM 1.5 conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films