Comparison of silatrane, phosphonic acid, and carboxylic acid functional groups for attachment of porphyrin sensitizers to TiO2 in photoelectrochemical cells

Bradley J. Brennan, Manuel J. Llansola Portolés, Paul A. Liddell, Thomas A. Moore, Ana L. Moore, Devens Gust

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103 Citations (Scopus)


A tetra-arylporphyrin dye was functionalized with three different anchoring groups used to attach molecules to metal oxide surfaces. The physical, photophysical and electrochemical properties of the derivatized porphyrins were studied, and the dyes were then linked to mesoporous TiO2. The anchoring groups were β-vinyl groups bearing either a carboxylate, a phosphonate or a siloxy moiety. The siloxy linkages were made by treatment of the metal oxide with a silatrane derivative of the porphyrin. The surface binding and lability of the anchored molecules were studied, and dye performance was compared in a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). Transient absorption spectroscopy was used to study charge recombination processes. At comparable surface concentration, the porphyrin showed comparable performance in the DSSC, regardless of the linker. However, the total surface coverage achievable with the carboxylate was about twice that obtainable with the other two linkers, and this led to higher current densities for the carboxylate DSSC. On the other hand, the carboxylate-linked dyes were readily leached from the metal oxide surface under alkaline conditions. The phosphonates were considerably less labile, and the siloxy-linked porphyrins were most resistant to leaching from the surface. The use of silatrane proved to be a practical and convenient way to introduce the siloxy linkages, which can confer greatly increased stability on dye-sensitized electrodes with photoelectrochemical performance comparable to that of the other linkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16605-16614
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - Oct 21 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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