Photocurrent Enhanced by Singlet Fission in a Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell

Joel N. Schrauben, Yixin Zhao, Candy Mercado, Paul I. Dron, Joseph L. Ryerson, Josef Michl, Kai Zhu, Justin C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus Citations


Investigations of singlet fission have accelerated recently because of its potential utility in solar photoconversion, although only a few reports definitively identify the role of singlet fission in a complete solar cell. Evidence of the influence of singlet fission in a dye-sensitized solar cell using 1,3-diphenylisobenzofuran (DPIBF, 1) as the sensitizer is reported here. Self-assembly of the blue-absorbing 1 with co-adsorbed oxidation products on mesoporous TiO2 yields a cell with a peak internal quantum efficiency of ∼70% and a power conversion efficiency of ∼1.1%. Introducing a ZrO2 spacer layer of thickness varying from 2 to 20 Å modulates the short-circuit photocurrent such that it is initially reduced as thickness increases but 1 with 10-15 Å of added ZrO2. This rise can be explained as being due to a reduced rate of injection of electrons from the S1 state of 1 such that singlet fission, known to occur with a 30 ps time constant in polycrystalline films, has the opportunity to proceed efficiently and produce two T1 states per absorbed photon that can subsequently inject electrons into TiO2. Transient spectroscopy and kinetic simulations confirm this novel mode of dye-sensitized solar cell operation and its potential utility for enhanced solar photoconversion.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2286-2293
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-62808


  • charge transfer
  • photocurrent
  • photovoltaics
  • singlet fission
  • spectroscopy
  • triplet


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