We report a new class of molecular insulators that electronically passivate the surface of nanocrystalline titania films for high performance dye sensitized solar cells (DSC). Using electrical impedance measurements we demonstrate that co-adsorption of dineohexyl bis-(3,3-dimethyl-butyl)-phosphinic acid (DINHOP), along with the amphiphilic ruthenium sensitizer Z907Na increased substantially the power output of the cells mainly due to a retardation of interfacial recombination of photo-generated charge carriers. The use of phosphinates as anchoring groups opens up new avenues for modification of the surface by molecular insulators, sensitizers and other electro-active molecules to realize the desired optoelectronic performance of devices based on oxide junctions.