New low bandgap small molecules based on a squaraine (SQ) chromophore, bis[4-(2,6-di-tert-butyl)vinylpyrylium]squaraine (TBU-SQ), bis[2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-(prop-1-en-2-yl)pyrylium]squaraine (MeTBU-SQ) and bis[4-(but-1-en-2-yl)-2,6-di-tert-butylpyrylium]squaraine (EtTBU-SQ), were synthesized and used as electron donors along with PC70BM for their application in solution processed organic bulk-heterojunction (OBHJ) solar cell (SC). The long wavelength of these SQ dyes are located in between 650–750 nm in thin films and the optical bandgaps are about 1.64, 1.52 and 1.48 eV, respectively. The electrochemical properties of these SQ dyes indicate that they are well suited for the fabrication of OBHJSCs as electron donors along with fullerene derivatives as electron acceptors. The OBHJ photovoltaic (PV) devices fabricated with the blend of TBU-SQ:PC70BM, MeTBU-SQ:PC70BM and EtTBU-SQ:PC70BM cast from chloroform (CF) solvent exhibited a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 1.71%, 2.15%, and 1.89%, respectively. The PCE of the OBHJSCs based on MeTBU-SQ:PC70BM blends cast from DIO–THF (DIO = 1,8-diiodooctane) additive solvent and cast from DIO–THF with subsequent thermal annealing have been further improved up to 2.73% and 3.14%, respectively. This enhancement in the PCE is attributed to the improvement in the crystalline nature of the blend and more balanced charge transport resulting from the higher hole mobility. All these results have been supported by the quantum chemical calculations.
You have access to this article
Please wait while we load your content...
Something went wrong. Try again?