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Issue 10, 2013
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Alkylated-C60 based soft materials: regulation of self-assembly and optoelectronic properties by chain branching

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Abstract

Derivatization of fullerene (C60) with branched aliphatic chains softens C60-based materials and enables the formation of thermotropic liquid crystals and room temperature nonvolatile liquids. This work demonstrates that by carefully tuning parameters such as type, number and substituent position of the branched chains, liquid crystalline C60 materials with mesophase temperatures suited for photovoltaic cell fabrication and room temperature nonvolatile liquid fullerenes with tunable viscosity can be obtained. In particular, compound 1, with branched chains, exhibits a smectic liquid crystalline phase extending from 84 °C to room temperature. Analysis of bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic solar cells with a ca. 100 nm active layer of compound 1 and poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) as an electron acceptor and an electron donor, respectively, reveals an improved performance (power conversion efficiency, PCE: 1.6 ± 0.1%) in comparison with another compound, 10 (PCE: 0.5 ± 0.1%). The latter, in contrast to 1, carries linear aliphatic chains and thus forms a highly ordered solid lamellar phase at room temperature. The solar cell performance of 1 blended with P3HT approaches that of PCBM/P3HT for the same active layer thickness. This indicates that C60 derivatives bearing branched tails are a promising class of electron acceptors in soft (flexible) photovoltaic devices.

Graphical abstract: Alkylated-C60 based soft materials: regulation of self-assembly and optoelectronic properties by chain branching

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Jan 2013, accepted on 16 Jan 2013 and first published on 18 Jan 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3TC00066D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013,1, 1943-1951
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    Alkylated-C60 based soft materials: regulation of self-assembly and optoelectronic properties by chain branching

    H. Li, S. S. Babu, S. T. Turner, D. Neher, M. J. Hollamby, T. Seki, S. Yagai, Y. Deguchi, H. Möhwald and T. Nakanishi, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013, 1, 1943
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TC00066D

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