A new series of benzimidazole (BIm)-based dyes (SC32 and SC33) and pyridoimidazole-(PIm) based dyes (SC35, SC36N and SC36) were synthesized as sensitizers for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The N-substituent and C-substituent at the BIm and PIm cores were found to be the dominating factor in determining the electronic properties of the dyes and their DSSCs performance. The efficiency of BIm-based dyes (SC35 and SC36) was found to be higher than that of the PIm-based dyes (SC32 and SC33) due to better light harvesting. The C-substituents in SC36, a 4-hexylloxybenzene and a hexyl chain, are beneficial to dark current suppression, and hence SC36 achieves the best efficiency of 7.38 % (≈85 % of N719). The two BIm dyes have better cell efficiencies than their congeners with a bithiophene entity between the BIm and the anchor due to better light harvesting of the former.
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