Publication details for Dr Kislon VoitchovskyVoïtchovsky, K., Ashari Astani, N., Tavernelli, I., Tetreault, N., Rothlisberger, U., Stellacci, F., Grätzel, M. & Arne Harms, H. (2015). In-situ mapping of the molecular arrangement of amphiphilic dye molecules at the TiO2 surface of dye sensitized solar cells. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 7(20): 10834-10842.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 1944-8244 (print), 1944-8252 (electronic)
- DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b01638
- Keywords: Atomic force microscopy, Dye sensitized solar cells, Z907, Molecular dynamics simulations, Liquid phase.
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
Amphiphilic sensitizers are central to the function of dye-sensitized solar cells. It is known that the cell’s performance depends on the molecular arrangement and the density of the dye on the semiconductor surface, but a molecular-level picture of the cell-electrolyte interface is still lacking. Here, we present sub-nanometer in-situ atomic force microscopy images of the Z907 dye at the surface of TiO2 in a relevant liquid. Our results reveal changes in the conformation and the lateral arrangement of the dye molecules, depending on their average packing density on the surface. Complementary quantitative measurements on the ensemble of the film are obtained by a quartz-crystal microbalance with dissipation technique. An atomistic picture of the dye coverage-dependent packing, the effectiveness of the hydrophobic alkyl chains as blocking layer and the solvent accessibility is obtained from molecular dynamics simulations.