Acetylacetone anchoring group for NiO-based dye-sensitized solar cell

Julien Warnan, Yann Pellegrin, Errol Blart, Lei Zhang, Allison Brown, Leif Hammarström, Denis Jacquemin, Fabrice Odobel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, the viability of the first push-pull (nitrophenyl and hexyl-thiophene as acceptor and donor unit respectively) sensitizer functionalized with acetylacetone (acac) anchoring group was assessed for application in p-type dye sensitized solar cells (NiO-based). An effective synthetic strategy to introduce the acac directly to an aryl moiety was developed. Then, the UV-visible absorption, emission and electrochemical properties of this new sensitizer were determined. FT-IR spectroscopy revealed an effective binding of the acac group to NiO surface while time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) calculations predicted a strong charge-transfer transition with no component of the LUMO centred on the acac. Ultrafast hole injection (<200 fs) from the dye excited state into the valence band (VB) of NiO was experimentally demonstrated by transient absorption spectroscopy studies. It was also shown that excitation of the sensitizer leads to the formation of a twisted intramolecular charge transfer (TICT) state. Finally, the photovoltaic performances of this dye were investigated in NiO based solar cells using the iodide/triiodide electrolyte. We measured promising power conversion efficiencies higher than that of the coumarin C343 benchmark reference albeit with a weaker light harvesting efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalDyes and Pigments
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Photoelectrochemistry
  • Photoinduced hole injection
  • Photovoltaic
  • Surface coating
  • Time dependent density functional theory
  • p-Type semiconductor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

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