Ideal alloys of two donor isomers with non-covalently conformational locking for ternary organic solar cells†
Ternary organic solar cells (OSCs) based on the alloy model have great potential in maximizing the improvement of device performance due to the probability of simultaneously enhancing the photocurrent through morphology optimization and improving open circuit voltage (Voc) by energy level adjustment. However, rationally designing compatible materials and constructing an effective alloy remain difficult. In this manuscript, two donor isomers, BT-TO-ID and BT-OT-ID with non-covalently conformational locking of alkoxy groups at different position, were designed and synthesized to obtain an “ideal alloy”. A linearly tunable Voc was observed between the Voc limitation of binary blends with the changes of the composition across the full range, indicating the behavior of an ideal alloy in the ternary blends. A face-on molecular packing and an appropriate phase separation was observed in the ternary blends due to the strong interactions between the two isomers, which facilitated charge transport and charge recombination suppression. Notable improvements of 76% and 29% in device performance were obtained for the ternary blends compared with BT-OT-ID based and BT-OT-ID based binary devices, respectively. Therefore, this work provided a probable molecular design strategy to guide the construction of an effective alloy in ternary OSCs.