C70-based aqueous-soluble fullerene for the water composition-tolerant performance of eco-friendly polymer solar cells†
Eco-friendly polymer solar cells (eco-PSCs) based on aqueous-soluble conjugated materials have recently received great research attention. In this work, we report the development of an aqueous-processable C70-based fullerene derivative (PC71BO15) for eco-PSCs processed by water/ethanol co-solvents. The desirable aggregation behavior and enhanced light absorption ability of PC71BO15 have enabled the fabrication of PPDT2FBT-A:PC71BO15-based eco-PSCs with power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of up to 2.51%, which is the highest value reported to date for aqueous-processed PSCs. These PPDT2FBT-A:PC71BO15 eco-PSCs exhibit significantly higher PCEs than those of the reference PPDT2FBT-A:PC61BO15 devices over all device-processable water/ethanol compositions. At the optimal water/ethanol composition (v/v = 15 : 85), the PCE of the PPDT2FBT-A:PC71BO15 eco-PSCs is 73% higher than that of the PC61BO15-based counterparts, as a result of enhanced light absorption. Importantly, the PC71BO15-based eco-PSCs show much higher tolerance in their PCEs to the water/ethanol composition. For example, the PCEs of the PPDT2FBT-A : PC71BO15 eco-PSCs at a 30 : 70 water/ethanol ratio maintain 89% of the optimal performance at a 15 : 85 ratio, whereas the PC61BO15-based devices only maintain 45%. This large difference in terms of water-tolerant behavior is mainly related to the different aggregation behaviors between PC71BO15 and PC61BO15 in blend films, which are carefully investigated using electrical, optical and morphological characterizations. This high water composition-tolerance affords an excellent reproducibility of the PC71BO15-based eco-PSCs with eco/human-friendly aqueous processing under ambient conditions.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Celebrating Tobin Marks’ 75th Birthday