- Vibrational spectroscopy of photosensitizer dyes for organic solar cells (2005)
- Ruthenium(II) complexes containing polypyridyl ligands are intensely investigated as potential photosensitizers in organic solar cells. Of particular interest is their use in dye-sensitized solar cells based on nanocrystalline films of TiO2. Functional groups of the dye allow for efficient anchoring on the semiconductor surface and promote the electronic communication between the donor orbital of the dye and the conduction band of the semiconductor. In the present work a new dye, [Ru(dcbpyH2)2(bpy-TPA2)](PF6)2, and the well known (Bu4N)2[Ru(dcbpyH)2(NCS)2] complex were spectroscopically characterized. The electronic transitions of both dyes showed solvatochromic shifts due to specific interactions of the ligands with the solvent molecules. The surface-enhanced Raman (SER) spectra of the dyes dissolved in water, ethanol, and acetonitrile were measured in silver and gold colloidal solutions. The results demonstrate that the dyes were adsorbed on the metallic nanoparticles in different ways for different solvents. It was also found that in the gold colloid, the aqueous solutions of both dyes did not produce any SERS signal, whereas in ethanolic solution the SERS effect was very weak. Deprotonation, H-bonding, and donor-acceptor interactions seem to determine these different behaviors. Our results indicate the important role of the charge transfer mechanism in SERS. The adsorption of the dye on two different TiO2 substrates, anatase paste films and anatase nanopowder, was also studied to clarify the role of the carboxylate groups in the anchoring process of the dyes on the semiconductor surface. The recorded spectra indicate a strong dependence of the anchoring configuration on the morphology of the semiconductor.