A series of porphyrin sensitizers that featured two electron-donating groups and dual anchoring groups that were connected through a porphine π-bridging unit have been synthesized and successfully applied in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The presence of electron-donating groups had a significant influence on their spectroscopic, electrochemical, and photovoltaic properties. Overall, the dual anchoring groups gave tunable electronic properties and stronger attachment to TiO2. These new dyes were readily synthesized in a minimum number of steps in gram-scale quantities. Optical and electrochemical data confirmed the advantages of these dyes for use as sensitizers in DSSCs. Porphyrins with electron-donating amino moieties provided improved charge separation and better charge-injection efficiencies for the studied dual-push-pull dyes. Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy of the porphyrin dyes on TiO2 suggest that both p-carboxyphenyl groups are attached onto TiO2, thereby resulting in strong attachment. Among these dyes, cis-Zn2BC2A, with two electron-donating 3,6-ditertbutyl-phenyl-carbazole groups and dual-anchoring p-carboxyphenyl groups, showed the highest efficiency of 4.07 %, with JSC=9.81 mA cm-2, VOC=0.63 V, and FF=66 %. Our results also indicated a better photostability of the studied dual-anchored sensitizers compared to their mono-anchored analogues under identical conditions. These results provide insight into the developments of a new generation of high-efficiency and thermally stable porphyrin sensitizers. Pull the other one: Porphyrin sensitizers with two electron-donating and dual anchoring groups were successfully applied in dye-sensitized solar cells. A highest efficiency of 4.07 % was achieved by using cis-Zn2BC2A as the sensitizer.
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