How to improve the photostability of NIR sensitizers: a quantitative study on the influence of molecular structure and dipping conditions
Nadia Barbero a, Davide Saccone a, Daniele Cielo a, Pierluigi Quagliotto a, Claudia Barolo a, Guido Viscardi a, Simone Galliano a b, Alessandra Smarra b, Valentina Gianotti c
a University of Turin, Department of Chemistry and NIS Interdepartmental Center, Via Pietro Giuria, 7, Torino, 10125, Italy
b DYEPOWER, Viale Castro Pretorio, 122 - 00185 - Rome, Italy
c University of Eastern Piedmont, Department of Science and Technological Innovation, Via Teresa Michel, 11, Alessandria, 15121, Italy
International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics
Proceedings of 6th International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics (HOPV14)
Ecublens, Switzerland, 2014 May 11th - 14th
Organizers: Michael Graetzel and Mohammad Nazeeruddin
Poster, Simone Galliano, 202
Publication date: 1st March 2014

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) have attracted great interest as one of the most promising alternatives to the conventional Si-based devices in the solution of global energy demand. The main advantages are easy assembly, low manufacturing cost, environmentally friendly character and, recently, considerable energy conversion efficiency. However, DSCs are not yet commercialized on a large scale, because they are subject to troubles in long-term stability, especially with organic and NIR sensitizers1. One of the main reasons is the photodegradation of the dye anchored on TiO2.

The present work provides the development of a fast and facile method that enabled us to study quantitatively the photostability of a series of NIR sensitizers, by correlating the results both to the structural characteristic of the molecule and to the dipping condition. Instead of the standard test based on desorption of the dye2 or prolonged aging3, we focused our attention on the dyed photoanode. Photodegradation of the sensitizer was simply checked by registering the absorption spectrum of the sample (the sensitized photoanode) at different time of irradiation. Until now, the interactions with electrolyte and counter electrode, as well as the sealing materials, were not taken in to account. Moreover, thanks to an Experimental Design approach, we were able to draw some interesting observations on the effect of the experimental conditions of dipping process (soaking time and temperature, dye concentration, presence or absence of a co-adsorbent).

1. Chen, C.; Yang, X.; Cheng, M.; Zhang, F.; Sun, L. Degradation of cyanoacrylic acid-based organic sensitizers in dye-sensitized solar cells. ChemSusChem 2013, 6, 1270-1275. 2. O’Reagan, B.; Xiaoe, L.; Ghaddar, T. Dye adsorption, desorption, and distribution in mesoporous TiO2 films, and its effects on recombination losses in dye sensitized solar cells. Energy Environ. Sci. 2012, 5, 7203-7215. 3. Paek, S.; Choi, H.; Kim, C.; Cho, N.; So, S.; Song.; Nazeeruddin, M.; Ko, J. Efficient and stable panchromatic squaraine dyes for dye-sensitized solar cells. ChemComm 2011, 47, 2874-2876.
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