Designing Efficient Metal-Free Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells: A Detailed Computational Study

Fatma M. Mustafa, Ahmed A. Abdel Khalek, Abdulla Azzam Mahboob, Mahmoud K. Abdel-Latif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The modulation of molecular characteristics in metal-free organic dyes holds significant importance in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The D-π-A molecular design, based on the furan moiety (π) in the conjugated spacer between the arylamine (D) and the 2-cyanoacrylic acid (A), was developed and theoretically evaluated for its potential application in DSSCs. Utilizing linear response time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) with the CAM-B3LYP functional, different donor and acceptor groups were characterized in terms of the electronic absorption properties of these dyes. All the studied dye sensitizers demonstrate the ability to inject electrons into the semiconductor’s conduction band (TiO2) and undergo regeneration through the redox potential triiodide/iodide (I3/I) electrode. TDDFT results indicate that the dyes with CSSH anchoring groups exhibit improved optoelectronic properties compared to other dyes. Further, the photophysical properties of all dyes absorbed on a Ti(OH)4 model were explored and reported. The observed results indicate that bidentate chemisorption occurs between dyes and TiO4H5. Furthermore, the HOMO–LUMO energy gaps for almost all dye complexes are significantly smaller than those of the free dyes. This decrease of the HOMO–LUMO energy gaps in the dye complexes facilitates electron excitation, and thus more photons can be adsorbed, guaranteeing larger values of efficiency and short-circuit current density.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6177
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • adsorption on titanium(IV) hydroxide
  • D-π-A configuration dyes
  • dye-iodine interaction
  • dye-sensitized solar cells
  • TDDFT calculations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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