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Second Generation of Diketopyrrolopyrrole Dyes for NiO-Based Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 14.03.2016, 00:00 by Yoann Farré, Lei Zhang, Yann Pellegrin, Aurelien Planchat, Errol Blart, Mohammed Boujtita, Leif Hammarström, Denis Jacquemin, Fabrice Odobel
In this study, four new diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) sensitizers, with a dicarboxylated triphenylamine anchoring group for attachment to NiO, were prepared and their electronic absorption, emission and electrochemical properties were recorded. The nature of the electronic excited-states was also modeled with Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory (TD-DFT) quantum chemistry calculations. The photovoltaic performances of these new dyes were characterized in NiO-based dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) with the classical iodide/triiodide and cobalt­(II/III)–polypyridine electrolytes, in which they proved to be quite active. Laser spectroscopy on dye/NiO/electrolyte films gave evidence for ultrafast hole injection into NiO (0.2–10 ps time scales). For the dyes with an appended naphtalenediimide (NDI) acceptor unit, ultrafast electron transfer to the NDI dramatically prolonged the lifetime of the charge separated state NiO+/dye, from the ps time scale to an average lifetime ≈0.25 ms, which is among the slowest charge recombinations ever reported for dye/NiO systems. This allowed for efficient regeneration by CoIII–polypyridine electrolytes, which translated into much improved PV-performance compared to the DPP dyes without appended NDI. Overall, these results underscore the suitability of DPP as sensitizers for NiO-based photoelectrochemical devices for photovoltaic and photocatalysis.