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Significant enhancement of the photovoltaic performance of organic small molecule acceptors via side-chain engineering

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Abstract

To achieve efficient polymer solar cells (PSCs), it is important to increase the optical absorption coefficient and charge mobility of photovoltaic materials for obtaining a high short-circuit current density (Jsc) and fill factor (FF) in the devices without sacrificing the open-circuit voltage (Voc). Herein, we designed and synthesized two novel narrow bandgap n-type organic semiconductor (n-OS) acceptors named POIT-M and MOIT-M by modifying the side-chains of IT-M from para-hexylphenyl to para-hexyloxylphenyl and then to meta-hexyloxylphenyl. Due to the synergistic effects of introducing oxygen atoms and varying substitution positions on the phenyl side-chains, MOIT-M shows a significantly improved absorption coefficient, stronger intermolecular π–π stacking interaction, increased crystallinity and higher electron mobility in comparison with IT-M and POIT-M, which helps to gain higher Jsc and FF in PSCs. These special features combined with the complementary absorption of the MOIT-M acceptor and wide bandgap polymer PTZ1 donor resulted in a high power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 11.6% with a Voc of 0.96 V, a Jsc of 17.5 mA cm−2 and a FF of 68.8% for the PSCs processed with simple thermal annealing at 120 °C for 10 min, which is one of the highest PCEs reported for additive-free PSCs and significantly higher than those of the PSCs based on PTZ1:IT-M (9.1%) or PTZ1:POIT-M (9.7%). Our results indicate that side-chain engineering is an effective way to further improve the photovoltaic performance of n-OS acceptors in PSCs.

Graphical abstract: Significant enhancement of the photovoltaic performance of organic small molecule acceptors via side-chain engineering

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Feb 2018, accepted on 04 Apr 2018 and first published on 06 Apr 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA01509K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article
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    Significant enhancement of the photovoltaic performance of organic small molecule acceptors via side-chain engineering

    W. Su, Q. Fan, X. Guo, J. Chen, Y. Wang, X. Wang, P. Dai, C. Ye, X. Bao, W. Ma, M. Zhang and Y. Li, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA01509K

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