Wu Group

Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells/Solar Fuels

Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells/Solar Fuels



Finding ways to efficiently utilize solar energy is a major step in addressing today’s energy challenge. The silicon solar cells currently on the market have an intensive manufacturing process that drives up their cost and energy payback times. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) promise lower fabrication costs and have efficiencies comparable to amorphous silicon solar cells.

Tandem DSSCs (formed by combining n-type photoanodes and p-type photocathodes in a single cell) can achieve high efficiencies because the dual dye-sensitized photoelectrodes can provide absorption across the solar spectrum. However, current tandem-cell DSSC technologies are limited by the photocathode’s substandard performance.


We seek to fabricate highly-efficient dye-sensitized solar cell photocathodes through…

  • Investigating the device physics of DSSCs
  • Introducing new nanostructured p-type semiconductors with proper valence band (VB) positions, high visible transparency, and high hole mobility
  • Developing new dye molecules with tunable charge transfer bands, appropriate oxidation and reduction potentials, and other properties useful for a wide range of photo-sensitized applications


Recently, our research into p-type semiconductors has found results which challenge conventional wisdom in the semiconductor field. Not only does n-type semiconductor tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) work as a p-type semiconductor, it also produces high photocurrents. This research shows an alternative path to industry-standard p-type semiconducting films like parasitically-absorbing nickel oxide (NiO).

A p-type dye-sensitized indium tin oxide (ITO) solar cell. (dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201500274)


We are interested in further developing dyes and transparent conducting oxide materials for solar cells and solar fuel cells.

Acid Stable HER TOC

"Bilayer Dye Aids Solar Water-Splitting": C&EN features Kevin's JACS paper

“Bilayer Dye Aids Solar Water-Splitting”: C&EN features Kevin’s JACS paper

Selected Publications

  • Yongze Yu, Kevin A. Click, Shane M. Polen, Mingfu He, Christopher M. Hadad, and Yiying Wu, “Electron Transfer Kinetics of a Series of Bilayer Triphenylamine-Oligothiophene-Perylenemonoimide Sensitizers for Dye-Sensitized NiO.“, J. Phys. Chem. C 121.38 (2017): 20720-20728. (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b07859)
  • Kevin A. Click, Damian R. Beauchamp, Zhongjie Huang, Weilin Chen, and Yiying Wu, “Membrane Inspired Acidically Stable Dye-Sensitized Photocathode for Solar Fuel Production”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2016, 138(4), 1174-1179 (highlighted by C&EN).
  • Ji, M. He, Z. Huang, U. Ozkan, Y. Wu “Photostable p-Type Dye-Sensitized Photoelectrochemical Cells for Water Reduction”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135 (32), pp 11696–11699.