Effects of heteroatom substitution in spiro-bifluorene hole transport materials†
Three new spirofluorene-based hole transport materials, Spiro-S, Spiro-N, and Spiro-E, are synthesized by replacing the para-methoxy substituent in 2,2′,7,7′-tetrakis(N,N-di-p-methoxyphenylamine)-9,9′-spirobifluorene (Spiro-MeOTAD) with methylsulfanyl, N,N-dimethylamino and ethyl groups. Their properties as hole transport materials in perovskite solar cells are investigated. The impact of replacing the para-methoxy substituent on bulk properties, such as the photophysical properties, HOMO/LUMO energy level, hole extraction properties and morphologies of perovskite thin films are investigated. Their optoelectronic and charge-transport properties and performance in perovskite solar cells are compared with the current benchmarked and structurally-related hole transport material (HTM) Spiro-MeOTAD. Surprisingly, the methylsulfanyl substituted spirofluorene shows the highest power conversion efficiency of 15.92% among the investigated spirofluorenes, which is an over 38% increase in PCE compared with that of Spiro-MeOTAD under similar device fabrication conditions.