A Photoelectrochemical Study of Bioinspired 2-Styryl-1-Benzopyrylium Cations on TiO2 Nanoparticle Layer for Application in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Giuseppe Calogero, Ilaria Citro, Gioacchino Calandra Sebastianella, Gaetano Di Marco, Ana Marta Diniz, A. Jorge Parola, Fernando Pina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the present work, five 2-styryl-1-benzopyrylium salts and their relative self-assembly processes towards TiO2 nanocrystalline layers were evaluated as photosensitizers in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Integration of these 2-styryl-1-benzopyrylium salts with the semiconductor allow for the performance of highly specific functions suitable for smart applications in material science. Spectroscopic and photoelectrochemical measurements conducted on these five bio-inspired dyes, in solution and upon adsorption onto titanium dioxide films, allowed detailed discussion of the anchoring ability of the different donor groups decorating the 2-styryl-1-benzopyrylium core and have demonstrated their ability as photosensitizers. Our results suggest that the introduction of a dimethylamino group in position 4′ of the 2-styryl-1-benzopyrylium skeleton can alter the conjugation of the molecule leading to larger absorption in the visible region and a stronger electron injection of the dye into the conduction band of TiO2. Moreover, our experimental data have been supported by theoretical calculations with the aim to study the energy of the excited states of the five compounds. In this specific case, the simulations reported contributed to better describe the properties of the compounds used and to help create the necessary basis for the design of new and targeted bio-inspired molecules.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4060
JournalMaterials
Volume12
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • anchoring functional group
  • dye-sensitized solar cells
  • self-assembly materials nanocrystalline layers
  • molecular synthesis
  • benzopyrylium salts
  • theoretical calculations

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