Performance Improvements of Bixin and Metal-Bixin Complexes Sensitized Solar Cells by 1-Methyl-3-propylimidazolium Iodide in Electrolyte System

Winda Rahmalia(1*), Septiani Septiani(2), Uray Amira Naselia(3), Thamrin Usman(4), Imelda Hotmarisi Silalahi(5), Zéphirin Mouloungui(6)

(1) Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Tanjungpura University, Jl. Ahmad Yani, Pontianak 78124, West Kalimantan, Indonesia
(2) Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Tanjungpura University, Jl. Ahmad Yani, Pontianak 78124, West Kalimantan, Indonesia
(3) Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Tanjungpura University, Jl. Ahmad Yani, Pontianak 78124, West Kalimantan, Indonesia
(4) Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Tanjungpura University, Jl. Ahmad Yani, Pontianak 78124, West Kalimantan, Indonesia
(5) Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Tanjungpura University, Jl. Ahmad Yani, Pontianak 78124, West Kalimantan, Indonesia
(6) Laboratoire de Chimie Agro-industrielle (LCA), Université de Toulouse, INP-ENSIACET, 4 Allée Emile Monso, 31030 Toulouse, France INRA, UMR 1010 CAI, F-31030 Toulouse, France
(*) Corresponding Author


Bixin is one of the potential natural sensitizers used in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). In this study, bixin was complexed with Cu(II) and Zn(II) to increase its stability. The formation of the complexes was indicated by shifting peaks absorption and the changes in the fine spectral structure observed from the UV-Vis absorption spectra. The metal-bixin complex occurs due to the interaction between the ester groups of bixin and the metal. Bixin, Cu-bixin, and Zn-bixin were used separately as sensitizers in DSSCs. The DSSCs performance was then improved by adding 1-methyl-3-propylimidazolium iodide (MPII) to the electrolyte system. The presence of MPII 0.4 M in KI-I2 electrolyte produced a higher ionic conductivity value (20.44 mS cm–1) than that without MPII (11.14 mS cm–1). This electrolyte system significantly improved DSSCs performance. Under a light intensity of 300 W/m2, the maximum energy conversion efficiencies of DSSC with bixin, Cu-bixin, and Zn-bixin as sensitizers are 0.084, 0.081, and 0.005%, respectively. The Zn-bixin-based DSSC was stable under high light intensity. Under 700 W/m2, its maximum energy conversion efficiency reaches 0.125%. There was a synergistic work observed between the metal-bixin complex and the MPII based electrolyte. This result can open the way for constructing functional materials for solar cell applications.


bixin; complex; dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs); 1-methyl-3-propylimidazolium iodide (MPII)

Full Text:

Full Text PDF


[1] Gong, J., Sumathy, K., Qiao, Q., and Zhou, Z., 2017, Review on dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs): Advanced techniques and research trends, Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 68, 234–246.

[2] Mariotti, N., Bonomo, M., Fagiolari, L., Barbero, N., Gerbaldi, C., Bella, F., and Barolo, C., 2020, Recent advances in eco-friendly and cost-effective materials towards sustainable dye-sensitized solar cells, Green Chem., 22 (21), 7168–7218.

[3] Prabavathy, N., Shalini, S., Balasundaraprabhu, R., Velauthapillai, D., Prasanna, S., and Muthukumarasamy, N., 2017, Enhancement in the photostability of natural dyes for dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) applications: A review, Int. J. Energy Res., 41 (10), 1372–1396.

[4] Semalti, P., and Sharma, S.N., 2020, Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) electrolytes and natural photo-sensitizers: a review, J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol., 20 (6), 3647–3658.

[5] Gόmez-Ortίz, N.M., Vázquez-Maldonado, I.A., Pérez-Espadas, A.R., Mena-Rejón, G.J., Azamar-Barrios, J.A., and Oskam, G., 2010, Dye-sensitized solar cells with natural dyes from achiote seeds, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells, 94 (1), 40–44.

[6] Hiendro, A., Hadary, F., Rahmalia, W., and Wahyuni, N., 2012, Enhanced performance of bixin-sensitized TiO2 solar cells with activated kaolinite, Int. J. Eng. Res. Innov., 4 (1), 40–44.

[7] Hug, H., Bader, M., Mair, P., and Glatzel, T., 2013, Biophotovoltaics: Natural pigments in dye-sensitized solar cells, Appl. Energy, 115, 216–225.

[8] Rahmalia, W., Fabre, J.F., Usman, T., and Mouloungui, Z., 2014, Aprotic solvents effect on the UV–visible absorption spectra of bixin, Spectrochim. Acta, Part A, 131, 455–460.

[9] Kabir, F., Sakib, S.N., and Matin, N., 2019, Stability study of natural green dye based DSSC, Optik, 181, 458–464.

[10] de Sousa Lobato, K.B., Paese, K., Forgearini, J.C., Guterres, S.S., Jablonski, A., and de Oliveira Rios, A., 2015, Evaluation of stability of bixin in nanocapsules in model systems of photosensitization and heating, LWT Food Sci. Technol., 60 (1), 8–14.

[11] Cortez, R., Luna-Vital, D.A., Margulis, D., and de Mejia, E.G., 2016, Natural pigments: Stabilization methods of anthocyanins for food applications, Compr. Rev. Food Sci. Food Saf., 16 (1), 180–198.

[12] Rahmalia, W., 2016, Paramètres de Performances de Photo-électrodes de TiO2/Kaolinite et d’Electrolyte à base de Carbonates Biosourcés dans la Cellule Solaire Sensibilisée par la Bixine, Dissertation, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, France.

[13] Soldatović, T., 2018, “Mechanism of interactions of zinc(II) and copper(II) complexes with small biomolecules” in Basic Concepts Viewed from Frontier in Inorganic Coordination Chemistry, IntechOpen, London, UK.

[14] Lo, K.K.W., 2017, Inorganic and Organometallic Transition Metal Complexes with Biological Molecules and Living Cells, 1st Ed., Academic Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

[15] Shi, L.Y., Chen, T.L., Chen, C.H., and Cho, K.C., 2013, Synthesis and characterization of a gel-type electrolyte with ionic liquid added for dye-sensitized solar cells, Int. J. Photoenergy, 2013, 834184.

[16] Khanmirzaei, M.H., Ramesh, S., and Ramesh K., 2015, Hydroxypropyl cellulose-based non-volatile gel polymer electrolytes for dye-sensitized solar cell applications using 1-methyl-3-propylimidazolium iodide ionic liquid, Sci. Rep., 5, 18056.

[17] Britton, G., 1995, “UV/visible Spectroscopy” in Carotenoids, Vol. 1B: Spectroscopy, Eds., Britton, G, Liaaen-Jensen, S, and Pfander, H., Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, Boston and Berlin.

[18] Popova, A.V., 2017, Spectral characteristics and solubility of β-carotene and zeaxanthin in different solvents, C. R. Acad. Bulg. Sci., 70 (1), 53–60.

[19] Zebib, B., Mouloungui, Z., and Noirot, V., 2010, Stabilization of curcumin by complexation with divalent cations in glycerol/water system, Bioinorg. Chem. Appl., 2010, 292760.

[20] Rahmalia, W., Fabre, J.F., and Mouloungui, Z., 2015, Effects of cyclohexane/acetone ratio on bixin extraction yield by accelerated solvent extraction method, Procedia Chem., 14, 455–464.

[21] Lóránd, T., Molnar, P., Deli, J., and Tóth, G., 2002, FT-IR study of some seco- and apocarotenoids, J. Biochem. Biophys. Methods, 53 (1-3), 251–258.

[22] Tayyari, S.F., Vakili, M., Nekoei, A.R., Rahemi, H., and Wang, Y.A., 2007, Vibrational assignment and structure of trifluorobenzoylacetone: A density functional theoretical study, Spectrochim. Acta, Part A, 66 (3), 626–636.

[23] Rahmalia, W., Fabre, J.F., Usman, T., and Mouloungui, Z., 2020, Preparation of ammonia dealuminated metakaolinite and its adsorption against bixin, Indones. J. Chem., 20 (4), 791–800.

[24] Yang, C., and Wöll, C., 2017, IR spectroscopy applied to metal oxide surfaces: Adsorbate vibrations and beyond, Adv. Phys.: X, 2 (2), 373–408.

[25] Chowdhury, F.I., Buraidah, M.H., Arof, A.K., Mellander, B.E., and Noor, I.M., 2020, Impact of tetrabutylammonium, iodide and triiodide ions conductivity in polyacrylonitrille based electrolyte on DSSC performance, Sol. Energy, 196, 379–388.

[26] Gu, P., Yang, D., Zhu, X., Sun, H., Wangyang, P., Li, J., and Tian, H., 2017, Influence of electrolyte proportion on the performance of dye-sensitized solar cells, AIP Adv., 7 (10), 105219.

[27] Singh, P.K., Kim, K.W., and Rhee, H.W., 2009, Ionic liquid (1-methyl 3-propyl imidazolium iodide) with polymer electrolyte for DSSC application, Polym. Eng. Sci., 49 (5), 862–865.

[28] Raga, R., Barea, E.M., and Fabregat-Santiago, F., 2012, Analysis of the origin of open circuit voltage in dye solar cells, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 3 (12), 1629–1634.

[29] Ng, H.M., Ramesh, S., and Ramesh, K., 2015, Efficiency improvement by incorporating 1-methyl-3-propylimidazolium iodide ionic liquid in gel polymer electrolytes for dye-sensitized solar cells, Electrochim. Acta, 175, 169–175.


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 2103 | views : 1648

Copyright (c) 2021 Indonesian Journal of Chemistry

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Indonesian Journal of Chemistry (ISSN 1411-9420 /e-ISSN 2460-1578) - Chemistry Department, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia.

Analytics View The Statistics of Indones. J. Chem.