• dyes/pigments;
  • electrochemistry;
  • porphyrinoids;
  • sustainable chemistry;
  • synthesis design


We have prepared a push–pull porphyrin with an electron-donating triarylamino group at the β,β′-edge through a fused imidazole group and an electron-withdrawing carboxyquinoxalino anchoring group at the opposite β,β′-edge (ZnPQI) and evaluated the effects of the push–pull structure of ZnPQI on optical, electrochemical, and photovoltaic properties. ZnPQI showed red-shifted Soret and Q bands relative to a reference porphyrin with only an electron-withdrawing group (ZnPQ), thus demonstrating the improved light-harvesting property of ZnPQI. The optical HOMO–LUMO gap was consistent with that estimated by DFT calculations. The ZnPQI-sensitized solar cell exhibited a relatively high power conversion efficiency (η) of 6.8 %, which is larger than that of the ZnPQ-sensitized solar cell (η=6.3 %) under optimized conditions. The short-circuit current and fill factor of the ZnPQI-sensitized solar cell are larger than those of the ZnPQ-sensitized solar cell, whereas the open circuit potential of the ZnPQI-sensitized cell is smaller than that of the ZnPQ-sensitized cell, leading to an overall improved cell performance of ZnPQI. Such fundamental information provides a new tool for the rational molecular design of highly efficient dye-sensitized solar cells based on push–pull porphyrins.