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Designing indacenodithiophene based non-fullerene acceptors with a donor–acceptor combined bridge for organic solar cells

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Abstract

Non-fullerene small acceptor molecules have gained significant attention for application in organic solar cells owing to their advantages over fullerene based acceptors. Efforts are continuously being made to design novel acceptors with greater efficiencies. Here, optoelectronic properties of four novel acceptor–donor–acceptor (A–D–A) type small molecules (A1, A2, A3 and A4) were studied for their applications in organic solar cells. These molecules contain an indacenodithiophene central core unit joined to different end capped acceptors through a monofluoro substituted benzothiadiazole (FBT) donor acceptor (DA) bridge. The different end capped acceptor groups are; 2-2(2-ethylidene-5,6-difluoro-3-oxo-2,3-dihydroinden-1-ylidene)malononitrile (A1), 2-2(2-ethylidene-3-oxo-2,3-dihydroinden-1-ylidene)malononitrile (A2), 2-(5-ethylidene-6-oxo-5,6-dihydrocyclopenta-b-thiophene-4-ylidene)malononitrile (A3), and 2-2(2-ethylidene-5,6-dicyano-3-oxo-2,3-dihydroinden-1-ylidene)malononitrile (A4). The calculated optoelectronic properties of the designed molecules were compared with a well-known reference compound R, which was recently synthesized and reported as being an excellent A–D–A type acceptor molecule. All designed molecules showed the appropriate frontier molecular orbital diagram for a charge transfer. A4 shows the highest absorption maximum (λmax) of 858.6 nm (in chloroform solvent), which was attributed to the strong electron withdrawing end-capped acceptor group. Among all of the designed molecules, A3 exhibits the highest open circuit voltages (Voc) which was (1.84 V) with PTB7-Th and (1.76 V) with the P3HT donor polymer. Owing to a lower value of λe with respect to λh, the designed molecules demonstrated superior electron mobilities when compared with reference R. Among all of the molecules, A4 shows the highest electron mobility owing to the lower value of λe compared to R.

Graphical abstract: Designing indacenodithiophene based non-fullerene acceptors with a donor–acceptor combined bridge for organic solar cells

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
10 Nov 2018
Accepted
05 Jan 2019
First published
28 Jan 2019

This article is Open Access

RSC Adv., 2019,9, 3605-3617
Article type
Paper

Designing indacenodithiophene based non-fullerene acceptors with a donor–acceptor combined bridge for organic solar cells

M. Ans, K. Ayub, I. A. Bhatti and J. Iqbal, RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 3605
DOI: 10.1039/C8RA09292C

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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