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Tuning of dye-sensitized particles in nano-structured solar cells

Objective

The project is aimed at the investigation and application of a new group of dye molecules to the dye-sensitized nano-structured solar cell (NSC) . The molecules under investigation are metal complexes with 2, 2' : 6'2 ' ' - terpyridine and 2, 2' bipyridine ligands, which are substituted with thiophene groups. The thiophene substituent was chosen for two reasons:
Initial calculations have shown that these complexes have favorable electronical properties.
Secondly, the thiophene substituent is a starting point for polymerization reactions. A modification of the starting compounds with oligomer or polymer chains will be performed on the surface of TiO2. The resulting material will be incorporated into the NSC. This procedure is based on a patented method o f the group of Dr. A. Hagfeldt, which does not involve a high-temperature step for the transformation of TiO2 powder into nano-structured material. Beside the application to the solar cell, a fundamental scientific investigation of the properties for the group of molecules will be conducted (electrochemistry, spectroscopy, photo-electrochemistry). This includes a mechanistic study of the electron transfer between the dye molecules and the TiO2 particles, and between the dye and the redox active material in the electrolyte. In conclusion, the project should result in an investigation of surface reactions of TiO2 bound complexes, the application of this material to the solar cell and insights about this new group of dyes .The two years at the host institution would enable me to apply my knowledge in the fields of electrochemistry, metal complex chemistry and surface sciences to the solar cell . I will be able to learn new techniques like the assembling of the NSC and its characterization (IV-, IPCE- and stability measurements) . In particular I will be able to familiarize myself with the femto-second laser set-up of the host institution. This will enable me to study the electron transfer kinetics by means of pulsed laser spectroscopy, complementing the electrochemical methods I used before. Beside its worldwide reputation, the host institution was chosen because it combines basic research efforts and the aim to commercialize the NSC. This applied approach will help me to learn the process of patenting inventions. My contribution to the group will be my broad experience in a variety of research fields ( e.g. Ru-complex chemistry) and experimental methods (e.g. electrochemistry, STM) relevant to the NSC.

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)

Coordinator

UPPSALA UNIVERSITY
Address
Thunbergsvägen 5A
751 21 Uppsala
Sweden