An amphiphilic swallow-tail bipyridyl ligand, 4,4'-bis(dihexylmethyl)-2,2'-bipyridine, and its heteroleptic ruthenium (II) complex were synthesized starting from dichloro-(p-cymene) ruthenium (II) dimer. The complex was characterized by UV/Vis and FTIR spectro-photometers, NMR spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. The performance of this complex as charge transfer photosensitizer in nc-TiO2 based dye sensitized solar cells was studied under standard AM 1.5 sunlight and by using an electrolyte consisting of 0.6 M N-methyl-N-butyl imidazolium iodide (BMII), 0.1 M LiI, 0.05 M I-2, 0.5 M 4-tert-butyl pyridine (TBP) in acetonitrile. The complex, CS9 in DMF, gave a photocurrent density of 12.62 mA/cm(2), 630 mV open circuit potential and 0.62 fill factor yielding 5.68% efficiency. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.