Characterization of the interface properties and processes in solid state dye-sensitized solar cells employing a perylene sensitizer

Ute B. Cappel, Amanda Smeigh, Stefan Plogmaker, Erik M.J. Johansson, Håkan Rensmo, Leif Hammarstroöm, Anders Hagfeldt, Gerrit Boschloo

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52 Citations (Scopus)


We recently reported on a perylene sensitizer, ID176, which performs much better in solid state dye-sensitized solar cells than in those using liquid electrolytes with iodide/tri-iodide as the redox couple (J. Phys. Chem. C2009, 113, 14595-14597). Here, we present a characterization of the sensitizer and of the TiO2/dye interface by UV-visible absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy, spectroelectrochemistry, photoelectron spectroscopy, electroabsorption spectroscopy, photoinduced absorption spectroscopy, and femtosecond transient absorption measurements. We report that the absorption spectrum of the sensitizer is red-shifted by addition of lithium ions to the surface due to a downward shift of the excited state level of the sensitizer, which is of the same order of magnitude as the downward shift of the titanium dioxide conduction band edge. Results from photoelectron spectroscopy and electrochemistry suggest that the excited state is largely located below the conduction band edge of TiO2 but that there are states in the band gap of TiO2 which might be available for photoinduced electron injection. The sensitizer was able to efficiently inject into TiO2, when a lithium salt was present on the surface, while injection was much less effective in the absence of lithium ions or in the presence of solvent. In the presence of the hole conductor 2,2′,7,7′-tetrakis-(N,N-di-p- methoxyphenyl-amine)-9,9′-spirobifluorene (spiro-MeOTAD) and LiTFSI, charge separation was monitored by the emergence of a Stark shift of the dye in transient absorption spectra, and both injection and regeneration appear to be completed within 1 ps. Regeneration by spiro-MeOTAD is therefore several orders of magnitude faster than regeneration by iodide, and ID176 can even be photoreduced by spiro-MeOTAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4345-4358
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 17 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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