Department of Chemistry, North Carolina State University
"Fe(II) chromophores + TiO 2 + light = electricity: Designing iron-based sensitizers with computational chemistry"
Wide-bandgap semiconductors sensitized with organic or inorganic chromophores lie at the center of many assemblies for solar energy conversion, such as dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) or dye-sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cells (DSPECs). The first steps of the light harvesting process in such systems consist of the absorption of visible light by the dye, followed by the interfacial electron transfer between the excited dye and the semiconductor. In the past decade, Fe(II)-polypyridines gained a great deal of attention as possible sensitizers in DSSCs thanks to the low cost and high abundance of iron. This presentation will summarize our recent work in this area, highlighting our understanding of structure-property relationships that govern the light absorption and excited state kinetics of iron sensitizers in solution and at dye-semiconductor interfaces.