Organic dyes were synthesized for use in dye-sensitized solar cells. Dye-sensitized solar cells are being explored because of their low cost of production and low environmental impact. Three different types of dyes were prepared: perylene monoimides, azo dyes, and push-pull poly-enes. All the dyes shared common structureal features: an electron donating group, extensive conjugation, an electron accepting group, and a carboxylic acid to anchor the dye to the TiO2 surface of the solar cell. Perylene monoimides were chosen because of their great chemical, thermal, and photophysical stability. Azo dyes were chosen because they were simple to synthesize, the reactants were readily available, and their use in organic solar cells had not been widely researched. The push-pull poly-enes had been reported previously to have a relatively high efficiency in solar cells compared to other organic compounds previously reported. Many useful intermediates were synthesized and purified. Three new compounds were synthesized and tested in solar cells.
Cicily Ronhovde, ’10 Elmwood, NE
Majors: Chemistry-ACS Certified, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Don Bladt, ’10 Shelby, IA
Major: Chemistry-ACS Certified
Valerie Collins, ’10 Kenosha, WI
Sponsor: Charles Liberko