Pigments from UV-resistant Antarctic bacteria as photosensitizers in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

N. Órdenes-Aenishanslins, G. Anziani-Ostuni, M. Vargas-Reyes, J. Alarcón, A. Tello, J. M. Pérez-Donoso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Here we report the use of pigments produced by UV-resistant Antarctic bacteria as photosensitizers in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs). Pigments were obtained from red and yellow colored psychrotolerant bacteria isolated from soils of King George Island, Antarctica. Based on metabolic characteristics and 16s DNA sequence, pigmented bacteria were identified as Hymenobacter sp. (red) and Chryseobacterium sp. (yellow). Pigments produced by these microorganisms were extracted and classified as carotenoids based on their spectroscopic and structural characteristics, determined by UV–Vis spectrophotometry and infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), respectively. With the purpose of develop green solar cells based on bacterial pigments, the photostability and capacity of these molecules as light harvesters in DSSCs were determined. Absorbance decay assays determined that bacterial carotenoids present high photostability. In addition, solar cells based on these photosensitizers exhibit an open circuit voltage (VOC) of 435.0 [mV] and a short circuit current density (ISC) of 0.2 [mA·cm− 2] for the red pigment, and a VOC of 548.8 [mV] and a ISC of 0.13 [mA·cm− 2] for the yellow pigment. This work constitutes the first approximation of the use of pigments produced by non-photosynthetic bacteria as photosensitizers in DSSCs. Determined photochemical characteristics of bacterial pigments, summed to their easy obtention and low costs, validates its application as photosensitizers in next-generation biological solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-714
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
Volume162
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Antarctic bacteria
  • Bacterial pigments
  • Carotenoids
  • Dye Sensitized Solar Cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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