Design, Synthesis and Properties of Organic Sensitizers for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: This thesis gives a detailed description of the design and synthesis of new organic sensitizers for Dye sensitized Solar Cells (DSCs). It is divided in 7 chapters, where the first gives an introduction to the field of DSCs and the synthesis of organic sensitizers. Chapters 2 to 6 deal with the work of the author, starting with the first publication and the other following in chronological order. The thesis is completed with some concluding remarks (chapter 7).The DSC is a fairly new solar cell concept, also known as the Grätzel cell, after its inventor Michael Grätzel. It uses a dye (sensitizer) to capture the incident light. The dye is chemically connected to a porous layer of a wide band-gap semiconductor. The separation of light absorption and charge separation is different from the conventional Si-based solar cells. Therefore, it does not require the very high purity materials necessary for the Si-solar cells. This opens up the possibility of easier manufacturing for future large scale production. Since the groundbreaking work reported in 1991, the interest within the field has grown rapidly. Large companies have taken up their own research and new companies have started with their focus on the DSC. So far the highest solar energy to electricity conversion efficiencies have reached ~12%.The sensitizers in this thesis are based on triphenylamine or phenoxazine as the electron donating part in the molecule. A conjugated linker allows the electrons to flow from the donor to the acceptor, which will enable the electrons to inject into the semiconductor once they are excited. Changing the structure by introducing substituents, extending the conjugation and exchanging parts of the molecule, will influence the performance of the solar cell. By analyzing the performance, one can evaluate the importance of each component in the structure and thereby gain more insight into the complex nature of the dye sensitized solar cell.