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Issue 46, 2018
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Donor polymer based on alkylthiophene side chains for efficient non-fullerene organic solar cells: insights into fluorination and side chain effects on polymer aggregation and blend morphology

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Abstract

Reducing the voltage loss is considered a promising route to improve the performance of organic solar cells (OSCs). In this work, two donor polymers PT4FB and PTT4FB based on a tetra-fluorinated benzene building block are synthesized and applied to non-fullerene OSC devices, which achieve high open-circuit voltage (VOC). When PT4FB is combined with IDIC, the blend exhibits large fiber-like domains (size ∼39 nm) due to the excessive aggregation of PT4FB, which results in a relatively low short-circuit current (JSC) of 14.06 mA cm−2 and a moderate power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 9.81%. To weaken the aggregation of PT4FB, we replace the alkyl chains on the polymer backbone with alkylthiophene side chains to afford a novel donor polymer PTT4FB with reduced packing and crystallinity. As a result, the PTT4FB:IDIC-based blend shows significantly smaller domain sizes (24 nm) than the PT4FB-based device, contributing to a remarkably increased JSC and an overall higher PCE of 10.60%. The synergistic effects of abundant fluorination and alkylthiophene side chains can be utilized as a general method to tune the morphological and energetic properties when designing novel donor polymers to achieve both high VOC and favorable morphology for efficient non-fullerene OSCs.

Graphical abstract: Donor polymer based on alkylthiophene side chains for efficient non-fullerene organic solar cells: insights into fluorination and side chain effects on polymer aggregation and blend morphology

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Sep 2018, accepted on 25 Oct 2018 and first published on 12 Nov 2018


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA08769E
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018,6, 23270-23277

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    Donor polymer based on alkylthiophene side chains for efficient non-fullerene organic solar cells: insights into fluorination and side chain effects on polymer aggregation and blend morphology

    J. Liu, L. Ma, Z. Li, H. Hu, F. K. Sheong, G. Zhang, H. Ade and H. Yan, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, 6, 23270
    DOI: 10.1039/C8TA08769E

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