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Energy conversion efficiency of genipin-based dye sensitized solar cells

Juana Pinanjota, Adriana Rodríguez, and Cristian Santacruz

Abstract

In the future dye-sensitized solar cells might become an attractive alternative to primary energy sources, due to their low cost and low environmental impact. However, the most efficient sensitizer molecule is based on Ruthenium, a low abundance material. Therefore, many research groups all over the world try to find alternative novel and efficient dye molecules. Among various approaches, one research area focuses on natural pigments. This work describes the extraction and purification of genipin, a monoterpene iridoid extracted from Genipa Americana L., and the synthesis of an all-natural sensitizer based on it. The genipin-based dyes were characterized by FT-IR spectroscopy, UV/VIS spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. Synthesized pigments showed absorption spectra around 590 nm and thermal stability up to 100 °C. Finally, the energy conversion efficiency of genipin-based dye sensitized solar cells was evaluated.

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