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Co-sensitization of natural and low-cost dyes for efficient panchromatic light-harvesting using dye-sensitized solar cells
Type Article
Solar cell Co-sensitization Dye aggregation Anthocyanin Chlorophyll Natural dyes
Co-sensitization is an effective strategy to achieve panchromatic light-harvesting and to enhance dye-sensitized solar cell performance. In this work, the potential of the extracted natural dyes from Malva verticillata and Syzygium cumini was evaluated as mono and co-sensitizers in DSSCs. The UV–vis absorption spectra revealed that the combination of studied dyes had a high molar extinction coefficient and cumulative absorption properties in a way that its absorption spectra overlapped the spectral domain where the original sensitizers lacked light-harvesting. Moreover, all investigated dyes were characterized using circular dichroism, dynamic light scattering, zeta potential, cyclic voltammetry, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The results of zeta potential analysis showed that the pigment aggregation and their colloidal stability, which has implications for the pigment adsorption process on TiO2 nanoparticles, were effectively controlled by varying the pH of the dye extract. Based on the CV results, the studied dyes indicated excellent redox stability and sufficient thermodynamic driving force for efficient electron injection. Based on the photovoltaic results, the acidified cocktail-DSSC had the highest and of 3.15 mA and 1.84 %, respectively. This superiority could be ascribed to the panchromatic light-harvesting, the excellent optical activity, and the appropriate energy levels of the acidified cocktail. Moreover, the loading of acidified cocktail dyes on the TiO2 surface was enhanced due to their homogeneous dispersion, less steric hindrances, and multi-anchor groups attached to the semiconductor surface. Based on the stability results, the treated cocktail-DSSC retained about 52.51 % of its as-fabricated efficiency after seven days while NDSSCs sensitized with acidified Syzygium cumini, Malva verticillata, Syzygium cumini, and cocktail retained about 26.24 %, 14.80 %, 16.35 %, and 15.25 %, respectively.
Researchers Malihe Golshan (First researcher) , Shahriar Osfouri (Second researcher) , Reza Azin (Third researcher) , Tahmineh Jalali (Fourth researcher) , Navid Reza Moheimani (Fifth researcher)