Research Article

Chlorophylls and xanthophylls of crop plants as dyes for Dye- Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC)

Rossi M, Matteocci F, Di Carlo A and Forni C*

Published: 10/11/2017 | Volume 1 - Issue 2 | Pages: 087-094

Abstract

Natural dyes have become a viable alternative to expensive and rare organic sensitizers because of their low cost, easy attainability, abundance of supply of raw materials and environmental friendliness.Chlorophyll, the most abundant pigment, can be extracted from plant leaves with simple and inexpensive methods, but it’s difficult to use as a Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSC) sensitizer due to the absence of OH and COOH groups. The opposite is true for xanthophylls, a particular class of carotenoids that contain free hydroxyl groups and thus may be considered as potential DSSC sensitizers. In this work we describe a new and inexpensive method of chlorophyll extraction from leaves based on the use of a basic solvent that provides the creation of COOH groups, allowing chlorophyll binding on the TiO2 layer. This modified chlorophyll dye showed a higher DSSC efficiency level (0.72%) compared to xanthophylls, which had lower efficiency.

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