INSTITUTO TECNOLOGICO DE CHASCOMUS
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Photosensitizing role of R-phycoerythrin red protein and β -carboline alkaloids in Dye sensitized solar cell. Electrochemical and spectroscopic characterization
DELLATORRE, FERNANDO G.; CABRERIZO, FRANCO M.; YAÑUK, JUAN G.; CERDÁ, MARÍA F.
Año: 2020 vol. 6 p. 25 - 36
Dye-sensitized solar cell(DSSC) technology represents a valuable source for renewable energy production.Although with a rather low conversion efficiency, the continuous improvement ofthe price/performance ratio is making this technology more competitive thanother sources of electrical power generation. To date, one of the major challengesis the search of novel and low-cost photosensitizers, a key player in theoverall photo-conversion process. Natural dyes have shown to be an excellentalternative that still needs to be further explored. In this work, the spectroscopicand electrochemical properties of two different families of naturally occurringpigments (i. e., β-carbolinealkaloids (βCs) and the red protein R-phycoerythrin (R-PE)) as well as theirrole in DSSCs are addressed. DSSC assemblies show that, in fact, R-PE representsa highly suitable photosensitizer showing quite a high stability with a relativehigh conversion energy performance (η = 0.110 %) whencomparing with other proteins. The best efficiencies were shown when algae extractswere used without further purification. The latter fact has a concomitantpositive effect on the overall production cost of this photovoltaic cells. Surprisingly,and despite their positive effect on the coating of the semiconductor surface,the use of bCs as additive decreases the overall conversion efficiencyof the R-PE based DSSCs evaluated. Data support the hypothesis these alkaloidswould be blocking the incident UVB/UVA radiation.