Towards a full understanding of regioisomer effects of indene-C60 bisadduct acceptors in bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells†
Indene-C60 bisadduct (IC60BA), which can offer a significantly higher open-circuit voltage (Voc) than monoadducts, has become the research focus as electron acceptor materials in polymer solar cells (PSCs) in recent years. However, despite its popularity, IC60BA have always been applied in PSCs as mixture of several regioisomers and the nature of this mixture has never been fully investigated and understood. Herein, for the first time, 12 major regioisomers of IC60BA were isolated and a full investigation was carried out with respect to their structure, abundance, solubility and their corresponding photovoltaic performance. The results show that the PSCs based on these regioisomeric structures present very diverse PCE and their photovoltaic performance was dramatically affected not only by the relative indene positions but also by the steric orientation of the two indene groups. Electrochemical studies further revealed that the effect of energetic disorder inside the IC60BA regioisomers on their photovoltaic performance is insignificant when applied in PSCs. However, the steric structures and solubility of the regioisomers were found to have significant impact on the morphology and bulk properties of the active layer of PSCs, which give rise to very different PCE of devices based on IC60BA regioisomers with different structures.