Synthesis and photovoltaic properties of new ruthenium(II)-bis(aryleneethynylene) complexes

Qian Liu*, Cheuk Lam Ho, Nianyong Zhu, Yingying Fu, Zhiyuan Xie, Lixiang Wang, Pierre D. Harvey, Wai Yeung Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


A new series of small-molecular ruthenium(II)-diynes trans-Ru(dppe)2(C≡CAr)2 (D1−D4) (dppe = Ph2CH2CH2Ph2; Ar = aromatic moiety) have been successfully designed, synthesized and characterized by photophysical, electrochemical and computational methods, and complexes D1 and D3 were crystallographically characterized. The optical and time-dependent density functional theory studies showed that the absorption ability of these complexes was significantly enhanced by incorporating the stronger electron-donor groups. The effect of different electron-donor groups in these metallo-organic complexes on the optoelectronic and photovoltaic properties was also examined. In this work, benzothiadiazole as the electron acceptor and triphenylamine and/or thiophene as the electron donor were introduced in these complexes, which were found to have optimal energy bandgaps spanning from 1.70 to 1.83 eV and broad absorption bands within 300–700 nm, rendering them good electron donor materials to blend with [6,6]-phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC70BM) in the fabrication of the solution-processed bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells. The best power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 0.66% was achieved, which is the highest PCE in ruthenium(II)-containing BHJ solar cells to date.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Organometallic Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Acetylide
  • Aryleneethynylene
  • Organic photovoltaics
  • Ruthenium
  • Synthesis


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