Thiocyanate-free isoquinazolylpyrazolate Ru(II) complexes were synthesized and applied as sensitizers in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). Unlike most other successful Ru sensitizers, Co-based electrolytes were used, and resulting record efficiency of 9.53% was obtained under simulated sunlight with an intensity of 100 mW cm–2. Specifically, dye 51-57dht.1 and an electrolyte based on Co(phen)3 led to measurement of a JSC of 13.89 mA cm–2, VOC of 900 mV, and FF of 0.762 to yield 9.53% efficiency. The improved device performances were achieved by the inclusion of 2-hexylthiophene units onto the isoquinoline subunits, in addition to lengthening the perfluoroalkyl chain on the pyrazolate chelating group, which worked to increase light absorption and decrease recombination effects when using the Co-based electrolyte. As this study shows, Ru(II) sensitizers bearing sterically demanding ligands can allow successful utilization of important Co electrolytes and high performance.