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Issue 103, 2016
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New PDI-based small-molecule cathode interlayer material with strong electron extracting ability for polymer solar cells

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Abstract

A water-soluble small-molecule perylene diimide derivative functionalized with a propylenetrimethylammonium end group, namely N,N-bis(propylenetrimethyl ammonium)-3,4,9,10-perylenediimide (PDI-N3I), was synthesized and successfully applied to conventional polymer solar cells as the cathode interlayer firstly. The small-molecule PDI-N3I showed excellent solubility in water and a desirable LUMO energy level of −4.09 eV which matches well with that of PC71BM. With incorporation of the PDI-N3I cathode interlayer, a PDI-N3I/Al device exhibited a higher PCE of 7.00% than that (6.54%) of a LiF/Al device resulting from the improved short current density from 10.41 mA cm−2 to 11.44 mA cm−2, which benefitted from the more efficient electron extracting ability of PDI-N3I compared with LiF proved by photoluminescence quenching experiment. The high vertical conductivity of PDI-N3I endows it with the outstanding property of thickness insensitivity, which is compatible with roll-to-roll production. Additionally, device performance was further improved by the use of a PDI-N3I/LiF bilayered cathode interlayer and the highest PCE of 7.18% was achieved. This work provides a novel solution-processed cathode interlayer material which could effectively improve the efficiency of polymer solar cells.

Graphical abstract: New PDI-based small-molecule cathode interlayer material with strong electron extracting ability for polymer solar cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Sep 2016, accepted on 20 Oct 2016 and first published on 20 Oct 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6RA22479B
RSC Adv., 2016,6, 101645-101651

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    New PDI-based small-molecule cathode interlayer material with strong electron extracting ability for polymer solar cells

    Z. Li, D. Yang, X. Zhao, Z. Li, T. Zhang, F. Wu and X. Yang, RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 101645
    DOI: 10.1039/C6RA22479B

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