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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2014, Article ID 548914, 9 pages
Research Article

Steric and Solvent Effect in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Utilizing Phenothiazine-Based Dyes

1Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
2Dyeing, Printing and Textile Auxiliaries Department, Textile Research Division, National Research Center, Dokki, Cairo 12622, Egypt
3Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia

Received 11 December 2013; Accepted 14 February 2014; Published 17 March 2014

Academic Editor: Chuanyi Wang

Copyright © 2014 Hany Kafafy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Three phenothiazine-based dyes have been prepared and utilized as dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The effects of dye-adsorption solvent on the performances of dye-sensitized solar cells based on phenothiazine dyes were investigated in this study. The highest conversion efficiency of 3.78% was obtained using ethanol (EtOH) and 2.53% for tetrahydrofuran (THF), respectively, as dye-adsorption solvents. Cell performance using EtOH as a dye-adsorption solvent showed relatively higher performance than that using THF. Electrochemical and photochemical tests of phenothiazine dyes in solution and adsorbed on the TiO2 surface showed less dye loading and coverage on the TiO2 surface during adsorption in the case of THF, which decreased the solar cell performance of the DSSC using THF as adsorption solvent compared with using EtOH as adsorption solvent. Meanwhile, the steric effect of phenothiazine-based (PT1–3) dyes was also investigated. Dye with longer and branched aliphatic chain in the order of PT1, PT2, and PT3 showed an increased resistance of the recombination reaction and electron lifetime, thereby increasing and enhancing the overall cell performance because of the sterically hindered conformation of the phenothiazines.