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A General Strategy to Enhance the Performance of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells by Incorporating a Light-Harvesting Dye with a Hydrophobic Polydiacetylene Electrolyte-Blocking Layer



A unique strategy to suppress charge recombination effectively and enhance light harvesting in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is demonstrated by the design of a new dipolar organic dye functionalized with a diacetylene unit, which is capable of undergoing a photoinduced crosslinking reaction to generate a hydrophobic polydiacetylene layer. The polydiacetylene layer serves as an electrolyte-blocking layer that effectively blocks the approach of the oxidized redox mediator and suppresses the dark current, and also plays a role in light harvesting owing to efficient energy transfer to the dipolar dyes. A 15 % efficiency improvement was achieved on going from the monomer dye (JSC=13.5 mA cm−2, Voc=0.728 V, fill factor=0.73, η=7.17 %) to the crosslinked dye (JSC=14.9 mA cm−2, Voc=0.750 V, fill factor=0.74, η=8.27 %) under AM 1.5 conditions.