Research Papers

Natural Dye Extracted From Saraca asoca Flowers as Sensitizer for TiO2-Based Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Ishwar Chandra Maurya, Neetu, Arun Kumar Gupta, Lal Bahadur

Department of Chemistry,
Institute of Science,
Banaras Hindu University,
Varanasi 221005, India

Pankaj Srivastava

Department of Chemistry,
Institute of Science,
Banaras Hindu University,
Varanasi 221005, India
e-mail: pankaj_bhuin@rediffmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received March 28, 2016; final manuscript received May 28, 2016; published online July 25, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Wojciech Lipinski.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 138(5), 051006 (Jul 25, 2016) (6 pages) Paper No: SOL-16-1143; doi: 10.1115/1.4034028 History: Received March 28, 2016; Revised May 28, 2016

In this work, we have chosen the low cost natural dye extracted from Saraca asoca flowers to act as a sensitizer dye for TiO2-based dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). UV–visible spectroscopic studies of ethanolic extract of dyes have been done in order to understand light absorption behavior of dye. The natural dye extract covers appreciable spectrum of solar radiation, 400–500 nm with an absorption maximum at 450 nm that makes it suitable for use as a photosensitizer in DSSC application. The dye adsorbed onto the semiconductor facilitates electron transfer across the dye/semiconductor interface. FTIR spectra of extract revealed the presence of anchoring groups and coloring constituents. DSSC fabricated with TiO2 and natural dye extract obtained from Saraca asoca flowers as sensitizer has shown open-circuit voltage (Voc) 516 mV, short-circuit current density (Jsc) 0.29 mA/cm2, fill factor (FF) 0.65, incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency (IPCE) 43%, and conversion efficiency of 0.09%. This work briefly discusses the simple extraction technique of natural dye and its performance in DSSC.

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Fig. 1

(a) Saraca asoca flowers, (b) dried Saraca asoca flowers, and (c) crushed powder

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Fig. 2

Chemical structures of gallic acid and quercetin present in Saraca asoca flowers

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Fig. 3

Sketch showing functioning of DSSC

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Fig. 4

UV–Vis absorption spectrum of (a) TiO2 photoanode, (b) the dye solution obtained from flowers of Saraca asoca, and (c) dye after adsorption onto the TiO2 surface. Inset shows the images of dye solution obtained from flowers of Saraca asoca and dye-anchored TiO2 film.

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Fig. 5

Basic molecular structure of anthocyanin and the binding between anthocyanin with TiO2

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Fig. 6

Infrared spectra of extracts obtained from Saraca asoca flowers

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Fig. 7

Cyclic voltammogram of natural dye extracted from Saraca asoca flowers at platinum electrode in acetonitrile solution containing 0.1 M TBAP supporting electrolyte, figures on the curves being the scan rates (mV s−1)

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Fig. 8

Schematic energy-level diagram showing electron injection from excited dye molecule to the conduction band of TiO2 and subsequent regeneration of the dye molecule

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Fig. 9

Photocurrent–voltage (J–V) curve for the DSSC sensitized by natural dye Saraca asoca under visible light illumination of intensity 100 mW/cm2 (electrolyte composition: 0.2 M LiI; 0.02 M I2 in acetonitrile)

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Fig. 10

Transient current–time (Jphotot) profile for the DSSC sensitized by Saraca asoca obtained under visible light illumination. Electrolyte composition and intensity are the same as in Fig. 9.

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Fig. 11

Power versus voltage curve of the DSSC using the natural dyes extracted from the Saraca asoca flowers

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Fig. 12

IPCE of Saraca asoca natural dye extracts used as sensitizer for TiO2-based DSSC. The inset image shows the absorption spectra of (a) bare TiO2 film and (b) dye solution obtained from flowers of Saraca asoca.




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