Structural variations of D-pi-A dyes influence on the photovoltaic performance of dye-sensitized solar cells
Two new organic D-pi-A dyes containing identical pi-conjugated spacer and anchoring/acceptor moieties but different donor groups were designed and synthesized. These dyes containing didodecylcyclopentadithiophene (CPDT) as a spacer, cyanoacrylic acid as an acceptor and N-butyl-carbazole or N-butyl-phenothiazine moieties as electron donor groups are labelled as V4 and V11 dyes, respectively. The variation in the donor group of these two dyes, that influences the photophysical, electrochemical and photovoltaic parameters, was investigated. The highest photovoltaic conversion efficiency of 7.5% was obtained with V4 dye at AM 1.5 G full sunlight intensity (100 mWcm(-2)). Comparison of phenothiazine donor dyes with two different pi-conjugated spacers, CPDT (V11) and vinyl thiophene (V7) containing devices shows that the V-oc of V7 dye is lower than that of V11 due to the downward shift of the conduction band edge. Transient photovoltage and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements were performed to explain the differences in the PV parameters by varying the donors and/or spacer groups.