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Keywords:

  • dyes;
  • dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs);
  • electrolytes;
  • semiconductors;
  • solar energy

Abstract

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Works without ruthenium as well: Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) incorporating metal-free organic dyes have been considerably improved in recent years. Various design strategies have been established and are employed successfully in the synthesis of novel sensitizers. In this Review, structure–property–efficiency correlations are deduced from a vast number of dyes, which should help to design new and highly efficient sensitizers.

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) have attracted considerable attention in recent years as they offer the possibility of low-cost conversion of photovoltaic energy. This Review focuses on recent advances in molecular design and technological aspects of metal-free organic dyes for applications in dye-sensitized solar cells. Special attention has been paid to the design principles of these dyes and on the effect of various electrolyte systems. Cosensitization, an emerging technique to extend the absorption range, is also discussed as a way to improve the performance of the device. In addition, we report on inverted dyes for photocathodes, which constitutes a relatively new approach for the production of tandem cells. Special consideration has been paid to the correlation between the molecular structure and physical properties to their performance in DSSCs.