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Effect of solvents in the extraction and stability of anthocyanin from the petals of Caesalpinia pulcherrima for natural dye sensitized solar cell applications

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Anthocyanin, a flavonoid pigment is responsible for wide range of coloration in petals of flowers and fruits, absorbs broad range of visible light. This makes them suitable to be used as dyes for DSSC. But, the efficiency of natural dyes is not up to the mark mainly due to anthocyanin instability. The stability issues in vitro are mainly due to the effect of solvents on extraction of anthocyanins and their respective pH. Taking this factor into consideration, in the present work, the anthocyanins were extracted from the flower Caesalpinia pulcherrima (C. pulcherrima) with various solvents and their respective stability and pH values are discussed. The usage of citric acid as solvent to extract anthocyanin has shown good stability than other solvents. It also helps in enhancing the sensitization properties of anthocyanins with titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanorods. The IPCE spectra show higher photovoltaic performance for dye sensitized TiO2 nanorods using citric acid as solvent. The natural DSSC using citric acid as solvent shows a higher efficiency of 0.83% compared to other solvents. Hence citric acid performs to be a safe solvent for natural DSSC in boosting the photovoltaic performance and maintaining the stability of anthocyanins.

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Prabavathy, N., Shalini, S., Balasundaraprabhu, R. et al. Effect of solvents in the extraction and stability of anthocyanin from the petals of Caesalpinia pulcherrima for natural dye sensitized solar cell applications. J Mater Sci: Mater Electron 28, 9882–9892 (2017).

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