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Ultrafast Channel II process induced by a 3-D texture with enhanced acceptor order ranges for high-performance non-fullerene polymer solar cells

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Abstract

To achieve efficient non-fullerene polymer solar cells (NF-PSCs), an in-depth understanding of the key properties that govern the power output is necessary. Herein, three trialkylsilyl substituted benzodithiophene-based polymer donors (PJ1, PJ2, and PJ3) were synthesized with fine-tuning of the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO)/lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) and optical absorption. Using the polymer series paired with absorption-complementary small molecular acceptors (SMAs), namely, m-ITIC, IDIC, and AIDIC, we systematically studied the performance of a 3 × 3 matrix of NF-PSCs. An increasing open-circuit voltage with deepening HOMOs of the polymer donors, and the enhanced short-circuit current (JSC) and fill factor (FF) were ascribed to the well-intermixed blend morphology containing enhanced SMA order ranges with mixed face-on and edge-on orientations, the so-called 3-D texture. Such an optimal microstructure is best exemplified in the PJ2:IDIC combination, affording a highest efficiency of 12.01% with a simultaneously high JSC of 17.0 mA cm−2 and FF of 75.3%. The devices with an active layer thickness of 300 nm still maintain an impressive efficiency approaching 10% with a decent FF of 60.0%. Moreover, the Channel II process, i.e., photoinduced hole transfer through acceptor excitation, was demonstrated to be crucially important for photocurrent generation. This study highlights the importance of optimizing the trade-off between charge separation/transport and domain size to achieve high-performance NF-PSCs.

Graphical abstract: Ultrafast Channel II process induced by a 3-D texture with enhanced acceptor order ranges for high-performance non-fullerene polymer solar cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 May 2018, accepted on 21 Jun 2018 and first published on 22 Jun 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EE01546E
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2018, Advance Article
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    Ultrafast Channel II process induced by a 3-D texture with enhanced acceptor order ranges for high-performance non-fullerene polymer solar cells

    S. Chen, S. M. Lee, J. Xu, J. Lee, K. C. Lee, T. Hou, Y. Yang, M. Jeong, B. Lee, Y. Cho, S. Jung, J. Oh, Z. Zhang, C. Zhang, M. Xiao, Y. Li and C. Yang, Energy Environ. Sci., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8EE01546E

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