A series of low band gap copolymers consisting of electron-accepting pyrazino[2,3-g]quinoxaline (PQx) and an electron-donating indolo[3,2-b]carbazole and thiophene units have been designed and synthesized by Stille coupling polymerization. Their optical and electrical properties could also be facilely fine-modulated for photovoltaic application by adjusting the donor/acceptor ratios. UV-vis measurements showed that increasing the content of PQx units led to enhanced absorption. The band gaps obtained from UV-vis spectra, CV scanning, and DFT modeling all indicated a narrowing band gap with increasing the PQx content in the copolymer structure. The photovoltaic solar cells (PSCs) based on these copolymers were fabricated and tested with a structure of ITO/PEDOT:PSS/copolymer:PCBM/Ca/Al under the illumination of AM 1.5G, 100 mW cm−12. The best performance was achieved using P3/PCBM blend (1 : 3) with Jsc = 9.55 mA cm−2, Voc = 0.81 V, FF = 0.42, and PCE = 3.24%, which is the highest efficiency for the PQx and indolo[3,2-b]carbazole based devices. The present results also indicate that the efficient photovoltaic materials with suitable electronic and optical properties can be achieved by just fine-tuning the ratios of the strong electron-deficient accepters and large-π planar donors.
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