Push-pull zinc porphyrins as light-harvesters for efficient dye-sensitized solar cells

Jianfeng Lu, Shuangshuang Liu, Mingkui Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) has been attractive to scientific community due to its eco-friendliness, ease of fabrication, and vivid colorful property etc. Among various kinds of sensitizers, such as metal-free organic molecules, metal-complex, natural dyes etc., porphyrin is one of the most promising sensitizers for DSSC. The first application of porphyrin for sensitization of nanocrystaline TiO 2 can be traced back to 1993 by using [tetrakis(4-carboxyphenyl) porphyrinato] zinc(II) with an overall conversion efficiency of 2.6%. After 10 years efforts, Officer and Grätzel improved this value to 7.1%. Later in 2009, by constructing porphyrin sensitizer with an arylamine as donor and a benzoic acid as acceptor, Diau and Yeh demonstrated that this donor-acceptor framwork porphyrins could attain remarkable photovoltaic performance. Now the highest efficiencies of DSSC are dominated by donor-acceptor porphyrins, reaching remarkable values around 13.0% with cobalt-based electrolytes. This achievement is largely contributed by the structural development of donor and acceptor groups within push-pull framwork. In this review, we summarized and discussed the developement of donor-acceptor porphyrin sensitizers and their applications in DSSC. A dicussion of the correlation between molecular structure and the spectral and photovoltaic properties is the major target of this review. Deeply dicussion of the substitution group, especially on porphyrin's meso-position were presented. Furthermore, the limitations of DSSC for commercialization, such as the long-term stability, sophisticated synthesis procedures for high efficiency dye etc., have also been discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number541
Number of pages19
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Acceptor
  • Donor
  • Porphyrin
  • Push-pull
  • Solar cell

Cite this