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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2015, Article ID 637652, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/637652
Research Article

New 1,3,4-Oxadiazole Based Photosensitizers for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs)

1Center of Research Excellence in Renewable Energy, Research Institute, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), P.O. Box 5050, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
2Polymer and Process Engineering Department, University of Engineering & Technology Lahore, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
3Department of Chemical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), P.O. Box 5050, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
4Gas Processing Center, College of Engineering, Qatar University, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar

Received 16 September 2015; Accepted 25 October 2015

Academic Editor: Vishal Mehta

Copyright © 2015 Umer Mehmood 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.

Abstract

1,3,4-Oxadiazole based photosensitizers with biphenyl, naphthalene, anthracene, and triphenylamine as the electron-donating moiety were synthesized for solar cell applications. In these photosensitizers, cyano groups were introduced as the electron acceptor and the anchor group because of their high electron-withdrawing ability and strong bonding to the semiconductor. Oxadiazole isomers were used as the π-conjugation system, which bridges the donor-acceptor systems. The electrochemical and optical properties of the sensitizers were investigated both in their native form and upon incorporation into dye sensitized solar cells. The results of UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopic measurements, and photocurrent voltage characteristics indicate that 1,3,4-oxadiazole pi-spacer with the anthracene moiety has the highest efficiency of 2.58%. Density functional theory was employed to optimize the structures of the sensitizers and the TiO2 cluster.