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Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells: Sensitizer-Dependent Injection into ZnO Nanotube Electrodes

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journal contribution
posted on 02.02.2010, 00:00 by Rebecca A. Jensen, Hal Van Ryswyk, Chunxing She, Jodi M. Szarko, Lin X. Chen, Joseph T. Hupp
Two porphyrin-based dyes with carboxylic acid tethers of differing acidity in both protonated and deprotonated forms were examined on ZnO nanotube electrodes. All of the dyes have similar surface coverage, but only the more acidic dye in the acid form injects electrons well; this dye is the only one that corrodes the ZnO. In control experiments on TiO2 nanoparticle electrodes, both dyes load and inject in protonated and deprotonated forms. These results are consistent with a requirement that the dye must partially corrode the ZnO surface in order for efficient injection to occur. Alternatively, it may possibly point to a coupling of electron injection to proton uptake.

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