Highly soluble energy relay dyes for dye-sensitized solar cells
High solubility is a requirement for energy relay dyes (ERDs) to absorb a large portion of incident light and significantly improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Two benzonitrile-soluble ERDs, BL302 and BL315, were synthesized, characterized, and resulted in a 65% increase in the efficiency of TT1-sensitized DSSCs. The high solubility (180 mM) of these ERDs allows for absorption of over 95% of incident light at their peak wavelength. The overall power conversion efficiency of DSSCs with BL302 and BL315 was found to be limited by their energy transfer efficiency of approximately 70%. Losses due to large pore size, dynamic collisional quenching of the ERD, energy transfer to desorbed sensitizing dyes and static quenching by complex formation were investigated and it was found that a majority of the losses are caused by the formation of statically quenched ERDs in solution.