Unraveling the Dual Character of Sulfur Atoms on Sensitizers in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Cyclometalated ruthenium sensitizers have been synthesized that differ with number of thiophene units on the auxiliary ligands. Sensitizers possessing four (SA25, SA246, and SA285) or none (SA282) sulfur atoms in their structures, were tested in solar cell devices employing I3−/I− redox mediator, enabling an estimation of the influence of sulfur−iodine/iodide interactions on dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) performance. Power conversion efficiencies over 6% under simulated AM 1.5 illumination (1 Sun) were achieved with all the sensitizers. Consistently higher opencircuit voltage (VOC) and fill factor (FF) values were measured using SA282. Scrutinizing the DSCs with these dyes by transient absorption spectroscopy (TAS) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) indicate that sulfur atom induced recombination cancels favorable increased regeneration resulting in decreased power conversion efficiencies (PCEs). The data indicate that, to reduce charge recombination channels, the use of sulfur-containing aromatic rings should be avoided if possible in the dye structure when I3−/I− redox mediator is used.