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Bio-inspired Supramolecular Nano-Self Assemblies for Light Energy Conversion

Francis D'Souza 

Wichita State University, Department of Chemistry, 1845, Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0051, United States


            Recent research efforts are focused on the development of low-cost solar cells using organic/inorganic dye molecules in the presence/absence of additional electron donor/acceptor components.   The basic working principle of organic solar cells based on electron donor-acceptor hybrids is the dissociation of photogenerated excitations at the interface between electron donor and acceptor phases by a photoinduced charge separation process with subsequent transport of the charge carriers in the respective phases to the electrodes. Critical parameters for the photocurrent generation include the wide-band absorption of the active layer, the efficiency of the charge transfer, and the transport of charge carriers in the materials involved.  Several strategies have been developed to improve these parameters for efficient light energy harvesting.

            Here, we wish to report self-assembly approaches to construct donor-acceptor hybrids for photovoltaic applications.  In the first approach, photoelectrochemical behavior of fullerene, C60 self-assembled via axial coordination to an electrochemically polymerized zinc porphyrin film is systematically investigated to unravel the importance of the coordinated fullerene in improving the photocurrent and photovoltage generation of the resulting donor-acceptor dyad.  In the second approach, ITO/TiO2 surface is modified with imidazolyl benzoic acid to create an imidazole coordinating site.  The imidazole is subsequently coordinated to various metallotetrapyrroles and dyads formed by these sensitizers.  The importance of donor2-donor1 type dyad in improving the photovoltaic behavior has been successfully demonstrated.


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Related papers

Presentation: Keynote lecture at SMCBS'2009 International Workshop, by Francis D'Souza
See On-line Journal of SMCBS'2009 International Workshop

Submitted: 2009-08-27 22:25
Revised:   2009-08-27 22:35