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The potential for solar cells as renewable energy sources is increasingly recognized as better devices come to the market. It has been recognized that the use of organic dyes as sensitizers can greatly enhance their performance. As a result, there has been an increased effort to develop new dye-sensitized materials for more efficient light harvesting. In order to optimize the conversion of solar energy into electricity, the surface orientation and conformation of the dye is a critical aspect of its performance. We propose to study the organic dye rhodamine 6G using two-color nonlinear optical spectroscopy. Combining the spectroscopic data with computer modeling and calculations will enable me to extract information about the structure of the dye at glass and metal interfaces, as well as its interaction with the conducting material in the device. Such investigations are critical to improving electron transfer in dye-sensitized solar cells, which will produce devices with greater efficiencies.
University of Victoria
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