Heteroleptic Ruthenium Sensitizers with Hydrophobic Fused-Thiophenes for Use in Efficient Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Zong Zhan Lu, Jia De Peng, An Kai Wu, Chun Han Lin, Chun Guey Wu, Kuo Chuan Ho, Ying Chih Lin, Kuang Lieh Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Two fused-thiophene-containing ruthenium sensitizers, [Ru(Hdcbpy)(ottip)(NCS)2]-·0.5[H]+·0.5[N(C4H9)4]+ [Z1, H2dcbpy = 4,4′-dicarboxy-2,2′-bipyridine, ottip = 2-(5-octylthieno[3,2-b]thiophen-2-yl)-1H-imidazo[4,5-f][1,10]phenanthroline] and [Ru(Hdcbpy)(odttip)(NCS)2]-·0.5[H]+·0.5[N(C4H9)4]+ {Z2, odttip = 2-[6-octyldithieno(3,2-b:2′,3′)thiophen-2-yl]-1H-imidazo[4,5-f][1,10]phenanthroline}, were designed for use in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) applications. The fused-thiophene-based Z1 and Z2 have stronger light-harvesting capabilities compared with a non-fused-thiophene analog, [Ru(Hdcbpy)(otip)(NCS)2]-·0.5[H]+·0.5[N(C4H9)4]+ [JF-2t, otip = 2-(5-octylthiophen-2-yl)-1H-imidazo[4,5-f][1,10]phenanthroline], and a standard N3 dye. The power-conversion efficiency of the Z1- and Z2-sensitized solar cells were superior (8.70 % and 8.15 %) to JF-2t- and N3-sensitized solar cells (7.85 and 7.40 %, respectively) under standard AM1.5G full sunlight irradiation. The photovoltaic performance of Z1 was better than Z2, primarily owing to the fact that Z1-based cells have a higher level of dye loading and less charge recombination, as seen from the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy data. This study not only demonstrates the excellent power-conversion efficiency of new fused-thiophene ruthenium sensitizers, but also points to the promise that fused-thiophene antennas might be a useful molecule in the engineering of ruthenium dyes for DSSCs. Optimization of the power-conversion efficiency in ruthenium sensitizers containing fused-thiophene antennas was achieved. This result clearly confirms that fused-thiophenes can be used as a superior antenna in the design of ruthenium sensitizers for greater dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1214-1224
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Dyes/pigments
  • Photovoltaics
  • Renewable resources
  • Ruthenium
  • Sensitizers
  • Solar cells
  • Sulfur heterocycles


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