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Transition-metal complexes in dye-based solar cells are responsible for converting light into electrical energy. A model of spatial charge separation within the molecule has been used to describe this conversion. However, an analysis at BESSY II shows that this description of the process is too simple. For the first time, a team there has investigated the fundamental photochemical processes around the metal atom and its ligands. The study has now been published in Angewandte Chemie, International Edition and is displayed on the cover.
Organic solar cells such as Grätzel cells consist of dyes that are based on compounds of transition-metal complexes. Sunlight excites the outer electrons of the complex in such a way that they are transported from orbitals at the centre of the metallic complex into orbitals of adjacent compounds. Until now, it was assumed that charge carriers were spatially separated in this process and then stripped off so that an electric current could flow. A team headed by Alexander Föhlisch at HZB has now been able to clarify that this is not the case.
Pulses - BESSY - II - Mode - Step
Using the short X-ray pulses of BESSY II in low-alpha mode, they were able to follow each step of the process in...
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