In this work, 27 new quinoline-derivative dyes were proposed, and their geometries, electronic structures, and absorption spectra were investigated using density functional theory (DFT) calculations. An important feature found in most of the new compounds was that the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) was above the TiO2 conduction band, facilitating electron transfer from the excited dye to the semiconductor. The energy of the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) was below the reduction potential energy of the electrolyte (I−/I3−), improving the charge regeneration process after photooxidation. Here we present compounds with a small band gap, favorable absorption properties, a D-π-A-type structure that exhibits maximum absorption above 540 nm, and a high light harvesting efficiency (LHE > 0.78). The results show that the compounds D1C, D2C, D3C, and R3C could be used as dye sensitizers for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs).
GC dos Santos, EF Oliveira, FC Lavarda, LC da Silva-Filho, Journal of Molecular Modeling 25 (3), 75(1)-75(13), 2019.