The use of mixed self-assembled monolayers, combining hydrophobic co-adsorbents with the sensitizer, has been demonstrated to enhance the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). Herein, the influence of the anchoring groups of the co-adsorbents on the performance of the DSCs is carefully examined by selecting two model molecules: neohexyl phosphonic acid (NHOOP) and bis-(3,3-dimethyl-butyl)-phosphinic acid (DINHOP). The effect of these co-adsorbents on the photovoltaic performance (J–V curves, incident photon-to-electron conversion efficiency) is investigated. Photoelectron spectroscopy and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy are performed to assess the spatial configuration of adsorbed dye and co-adsorbent molecules. The photoelectron spectroscopy studies indicate that the ligands of the ruthenium complex, containing thiophene groups, point out away from the surface of TiO2 in comparison with the NCS group.
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