Laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry of dye-sensitized solar cells: identification of the dye-electrolyte interaction
Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) have great potential to provide sustainable electricity from sunlight. The photoanode in DSCs consists of a dye-sensitized metal oxide film deposited on a conductive substrate. This configuration makes the photoanode a perfect sample for laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS). We applied LDI-MS for the study of molecular interactions between a dye and electrolyte on the surface of a TiO2 photoanode. We found that a dye containing polyoxyethylene groups forms complexes with alkali metal cations from the electrolyte, while a dye substituted with alkoxy groups does not. Guanidinium ion forms adducts with neither of the two dyes. Copyright (C) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.