A new class of organic dyes based on acenaphthopyrazine derivatives, containing pyrazine group as the electron acceptor and o-dicarboxyl acids as the anchoring groups were designed and synthesized for application in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). These dyes have short synthesis routes and are easily adsorbed on the surface of TiO2. Under illumination of simulated AM1.5 solar light (100 mW cm-2), a total solar energy conversion efficiency (η) of 4.04% was obtained for the 3-(diphenylamino) acenaphtho[1,2-b] pyrazine-8,9-dicarboxylic acid (AP-1) in the preliminary tests, in comparison with the conventional N719 dye (η = 7.05%) under the same conditions. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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