Turkish Journal of Chemistry

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The sensitizer is one of the most essential dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) components. In the present research, a Zn-astaxanthin complex was investigated as a sensitizer, compared to pure astaxanthin. The complex with a 1:1 mole ratio between astaxanthin and Zn2+ was synthesized in a reflux reactor at 37–60 °C. The product was analyzed using Proton Nuclear Resonance (1H-NMR), which indicates the presence of chelate formation between Zn2+ with two atoms of oxygen on the terminal cyclohexane ring of astaxanthin. The interaction of sensitizers (astaxanthin and Zn-astaxanthin) on the photoelectrode surface in this study was analyzed using a Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) and Ultraviolet-Visible Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy (UV-Vis DRS). The FTIR spectra of photoelectrode immersed in Zn-astaxanthin show peaks of C=O stretching and vibration -OH group at 1730 and 1273 cm–1, respectively, and H-C-H stretching vibration with high intensity in 2939, 2923, and 2853 cm–1. The UV-Vis DRS analysis shows the band gap of photoelectrode (PE), photoelectrode immersed in astaxanthin (PE/astaxanthin), and Zn-astaxanthin (PE/Zn-astaxanthin) are 3.19, 1.65, and 1.59 eV, respectively. Under illumination intensity of 300 W/m2, the maximum energy conversion efficiency of DSSC with Zn-astaxanthin as sensitizer is (0.03 + 0.0022)%, higher than DSSC with astaxanthin as sensitizer ((0.12 + 0.0052)%). Up to 70 h of illumination, DSSC with Zn-astaxanthin as a sensitizer also has better stability than astaxanthin-based DSSC.


Astaxanthin, complex, sensitizer, solar cell, stability

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