Significant improvement of dye-sensitized solar cell performance using simple phenothiazine-based dyes

Yong Hua, Shuai Chang, Dandan Huang, Xuan Zhou, Xunjin ZHU*, Jianzhang Zhao, Tao Chen, Wai Yeung WONG, Rick W K WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

252 Citations (Scopus)


A series of simple phenothiazine-based dyes have been synthesized, in which a cyanoacrylate acceptor directly attached to the C(3) position of phenothiazine, and an additional linear electron-rich (4-hexyloxy)phenyl group at C(7) on the opposite side of the acceptor, and an alkyl chain with different length at N(10) of the phenothiazine periphery are presented. The dye molecules have a linear shape which is favorable for the formation of a compact dye layer on the TiO2 surface, while their butterfly conformations can sufficiently inhibit molecular aggregation. Moreover, the structural features of (4-hexyloxy)phenyl donor moiety at the C(7) position of phenothiazine extends the π-conjugation of the chromophore, thus enhancing the performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Moreover, the alkyl substituents with different chain length at the N(10) atom of phenothiazine could further optimize the performance through completely shielding the surface of TiO2 from the I-/I3- electrolyte and subsequently reducing the leakage of dark current. Under simulated AM 1.5G irradiation, the PT-C6 based DSSC produces a short-circuit photocurrent of 15.32 mA cm-2, an open-circuit photovoltage of 0.78 V, a fill factor of 0.69, corresponding to a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 8.18%, which exceeds the reference N719 (7.73%) under identical fabrication conditions. Notably, the designed molecular structure represents the highest photovoltaic conversion efficiency value when compared with other reported phenothiazine-derived dyes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2146-2153
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • π-conjugation
  • aggregation
  • charge recombination
  • dye-sensitized solar cells
  • phenothiazine


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