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Keywords:

  • solar cells;
  • TD-DFT;
  • absorption;
  • electronegativity;
  • synthesis of porphyrins

Abstract

This research project is focused on molecules that comprise a series of asymmetrically A3B-type meso-substituted free-base porphyrins and their related Zn-metalloporphyrins. A and B were taken as electron-donor and electron–acceptor groups. Full geometry optimizations without symmetry constrains were performed with B3LYP/6-31G(d,P) methodology. Time-dependent density functional theory calculations of the optimized structures indicate that there is a good agreement with the available experimental results. The highest occupied molecular orbital–lowest occupied molecular orbital (LUMO) gaps (ranging between 2.62 and 2.80 eV) are similar to those reported before for other porphyrins (2.29 eV). Also, the LUMO is situated close to the conduction band of titanium oxide, increasing the possibility of a charge transfer process. As porphyrins may act as electron transfer systems, the electron donor–acceptor capacity of these systems is characterized using two parameters; electrodonating (χ−) and electroaccepting (χ+) electronegativity. The main goal of this investigation is to analyze the electronic structure and the donor–acceptor properties of these porphyrins to see if these compounds could be useful for further applications related to the design of solar cells. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.