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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 4 Issue 4 (1999) pp 144-146

Solar Energy Conversion Using a Semiconductor Electrode Photosensitized by Tetraphenylporphyrin

Edgardo N. Durantini and Luis Otero*

Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto, Agencia Postal Nro 3, Río Cuarto 5800, Argentina

Published online: 2 August 1999

Abstract. The synthesis of meso-tetraphenylporphyrin (TPP) and its application in a solar- energy conversion device are described as an undergraduate laboratory experiment. In the first part of the exercise, a convenient procedure for the synthesis of TPP is presented. In the second section of the experiment, the construction of a high-efficiency photoelectrode that utilizes the light harvesting capacity of the porphyrin is presented. The spectral sensitization of a wide-band-gap semiconductor is achieved using TPP as an efficient photoreceptor, This mimics the role of the tetrapyrrolic macrocycle in natural photosynthesis.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; porphyrins; photoelectrodes; energy conversion; semiconductors

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: August 2, 1999

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