New pyran dyes for dye-sensitized solar cells

Samuel G. Awuah, Jason Polreis, Joshi Prakash, Qiquan Qiao, Youngjae You

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Although ruthenium-based dyes have been extensively used in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) as photosensitizers, they have several shortcomings such as high costs and potential environmental toxicities. This has stimulated the development of highly efficient organic dyes as photosensitizers. We report the synthesis and photophysical, electrochemical and theoretical properties of novel pyran-based organic dyes (D1, D2, and D3) as well as their applications in DSSCs for the first time. The designed dyes possess a cyanoacrylic acid group as an acceptor and arylamine group as a donor group in a D-π-A configuration. The introduction of varying donor groups resulted in correspondingly different photophysical and electrochemical properties. The DSSCs fabricated using dye D1 showed the highest photovoltaic performance: a maximum incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency (IPCE) of 42%, a short-circuit current density (Jsc) of 4.76 mA cm-2, an open circuit voltage (Voc) of 0.68 V, and a fill factor (FF) of 0.67, corresponding to an overall conversion efficiency of 2.17% under 100 mW cm-2 irradiation. The synthesized dyes with a pyran chromophore and arylamine donor groups showed potentials for applications in DSSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-122
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 15 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) /EPSCoR Grant #EPS-0554609, NSF ECCS-0950731, and NASA EPSCoR grant #NNX09AP67A. Use of the Center for Nanoscale Materials was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. We are grateful to Dr. Brian Logue for his assistance in the electrochemical aspects, Drs. Brian Moore and Seth Darling for their helpful computational input and to Dr. Mahdi Farrokh Baroughi for his assistance in the I – V and IPCE measurement. A technical assist from Mr. Sudeep Karanjit is also appreciated.


  • Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs)
  • Photosensitizer
  • Pyran

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (all)


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