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Issue 100, 2016, Issue in Progress
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Enhancing the photovoltaic performance of binary acceptor-based conjugated polymers incorporating methyl units

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Abstract

Three conjugated polymers incorporating pentacyclic lactam (PCL) and diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) units into conjugated polymers were designed and synthesized, in which the aromatic linkers between PCL and DPP varied from thiophene to methylthiophene. Methylated polymers were found to show slightly blue-shift absorption and high-lying energy levels compared to non-methylated polymers. The three polymers also exhibit good crystalline properties and hole mobilities up to 0.57 cm2 V−1 s−1 in field-effect transistors. Non-methylated polymers as electron donors in solar cells show an efficiency of 4.2% with a relatively low short circuit current density (Jsc) of 8.3 mA cm−2, while methylated polymers exhibit dramastically enhanced Jsc of 12.8 mA cm−2 and PCEs up to 6.1%. Micro-phase separation in bulk-heterojunction thin films were systematically investigated, in which methylated polymers in blended thin films were found to provide better micro-phase separation with small crystal domain. The observation can explain their improved photocurrent in solar cells. Our studies demonstrate that by intentionally structural modification, conjugated polymers containing several electron-deficient units can have the great potential application in high performance solar cells.

Graphical abstract: Enhancing the photovoltaic performance of binary acceptor-based conjugated polymers incorporating methyl units

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Article information


Submitted
14 Jul 2016
Accepted
10 Oct 2016
First published
10 Oct 2016

RSC Adv., 2016,6, 98071-98079
Article type
Paper

Enhancing the photovoltaic performance of binary acceptor-based conjugated polymers incorporating methyl units

G. Feng, Y. Xu, Y. Wu, C. Li, F. Yang, Y. Yu, W. Ma and W. Li, RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 98071
DOI: 10.1039/C6RA17986J

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