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Ultrafast Photodynamics of the Indoline Dye D149 Adsorbed to Porous ZnO in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells



We investigate the ultrafast dynamics of the photoinduced electron transfer between surface-adsorbed indoline D149 dye and porous ZnO as used in the working electrodes of dye-sensitized solar cells. Transient absorption spectroscopy was conducted on the dye in solution, on solid state samples and for the latter in contact to a I/I3 redox electrolyte typical for dye-sensitized solar cells to elucidate the effect of each component in the observed dynamics. D149 in a solution of 1:1 acetonitrile and tert-butyl alcohol shows excited-state lifetimes of 300±50 ps. This signature is severely quenched when D149 is adsorbed to ZnO, with the fastest component of the decay trace measured at 150±20 fs due to the charge-transfer mechanism. Absorption bands of the oxidized dye molecule were investigated to determine regeneration times which are in excess of 1 ns. The addition of the redox electrolyte to the system results in faster regeneration times, of the order of 1 ns.