To design sensitizers for dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), a series of zinc chlorins with different substituents were synthesized. Novel zinc methyl 3-devinyl-3-hydroxymethyl-20-phenylacetylenylpyropheophorbide-a (ZnChl-1), zinc methyl 20-bromo-3-devinyl-3-hydroxymethylpyropheophorbide-a (ZnChl-2), zinc methyl 3-devinyl-3-hydroxymethyl-pyropheophorbide-a (ZnChl-3), zinc propyl 3-devinyl-3-hydroxymethyl-pyropheophorbide-a (ZnChl-4) were synthesized and their photovoltaic performances were evaluated in dye-sensitized solar cells. Photoelectrodes with a 7 mu m thick nanoporous layer and a 5 mu M thick light-scattering layer were used to fabricate dye sensitized solar cells. The best efficiency was obtained with ZnChl-2 sensitizer. ZnChl-2 gave a J(sc) of 3.5 mA/cm(2), V-oc, of 412 mV, FF of 0.56 and an overall conversion efficiency of 0.81 at full sun (1000W m(-2)). (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.