Photoelectron Spectroscopy at the Solid–Liquid Interface of Dye–Sensitized Solar Cells: Unique Experiments with the Solid–Liquid Interface Analysis System SoLiAS at BESSY


  • Konrad Schwanitz
  • Eric Mankel
  • Ralf Hunger
  • Thomas Mayer
  • Wolfram Jaegermann



Dye-sensitized solar cell, Photoelectron spectroscopy, Solid-liquid interface


At the synchrotron BESSY we run the experimental station SoLiAS, dedicated to solid–liquid interface analysis with soft X-ray induced photoelectron spectroscopy (SXPS). SoLiAS allows wet chemically prepared surfaces to be transferred to the ultra high vacuum without contact with ambient air. In addition in situ (co)adsorption of volatile solvent species onto liquid nitrogen cooled samples is possible. SoLiAS proves to be very useful in analyzing the chemical and electronic structure at the solid–liquid interface of dye–sensitized solar cells. The standard dye RuII(2,2?-bipyridil-4,4?-dicarboxylate)2(NCS)2 was adsorbed from ethanol solution under clean N2 atmosphere in an UHV-integrated electrochemical cell (EC). The standard solvent acetonitrile was adsorbed in situ from the gas phase. For comparison also the nonpolar solvent benzene was adsorbed. Ex situ sintered nanocrystalline anatase substrates as well as in situ deposited polycrystalline TiO2 samples were used, which show a similar distribution of two types of occupied surface states. Distinct reversible changes occur in synchrotron-induced photoelectron valence band and core level spectra when the solvent acetonitrile is adsorbed to pristine and dye-covered TiO2 substrates. TiO2 surface states are quenched and the line width of the dye S2p emission decreases strongly. Based on the experimental results the alignment of the photovoltaic relevant electronic states and a model on the dye–solvent interaction can be deduced that points to the promotion of vectorial charge transfer by increased dye orientation due to solvation.




How to Cite

K. Schwanitz, E. Mankel, R. Hunger, T. Mayer, W. Jaegermann, Chimia 2007, 61, 796, DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2007.796.