Polymer Main-Chain Substitution Effects on the Efficiency of Nonfullerene BHJ Solar Cells
Maffei, Luna Pratali
Müller, Michael A.
Ngongang Ndjawa, Guy Olivier
KAUST DepartmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Chemical Science Program
Materials Science and Engineering Program
KAUST Solar Center (KSC)
Imaging and Characterization Core Lab
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Abstract“Nonfullerene” acceptors are proving effective in bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells when paired with selected polymer donors. However, the principles that guide the selection of adequate polymer donors for high-efficiency BHJ solar cells with nonfullerene acceptors remain a matter of some debate and, while polymer main-chain substitutions may have a direct influence on the donor–acceptor interplay, those effects should be examined and correlated with BHJ device performance patterns. This report examines a set of wide-bandgap polymer donor analogues composed of benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene (BDT), and thienyl ([2H]T) or 3,4-difluorothiophene ([2F]T) motifs, and their BHJ device performance pattern with the nonfullerene acceptor “ITIC”. Studies show that the fluorine- and ring-substituted derivative PBDT(T)[2F]T largely outperforms its other two polymer donor counterparts, reaching power conversion efficiencies as high as 9.8%. Combining several characterization techniques, the gradual device performance improvements observed on swapping PBDT[2H]T for PBDT[2F]T, and then for PBDT(T)[2F]T, are found to result from (i) notably improved charge generation and collection efficiencies (estimated as ≈60%, 80%, and 90%, respectively), and (ii) reduced geminate recombination (being suppressed from ≈30%, 25% to 10%) and bimolecular recombination (inferred from recombination rate constant comparisons). These examinations will have broader implications for further studies on the optimization of BHJ solar cell efficiencies with polymer donors and a wider range of nonfullerene acceptors.
CitationFirdaus Y, Maffei LP, Cruciani F, Müller MA, Liu S, et al. (2017) Polymer Main-Chain Substitution Effects on the Efficiency of Nonfullerene BHJ Solar Cells. Advanced Energy Materials 7: 1700834. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aenm.201700834.
SponsorsY.F. and L.P.M. contributed equally to this work. This publication is based upon work supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Award No. CRG_R2_13_BEAU_KAUST_1. The authors acknowledge concurrent support under Baseline Research Funding from KAUST. The authors thank KAUST ACL for technical support in the mass spectrometry, GPC, and elemental analyses. The authors thank Z. Kan and M. Babics for the discussions in device characterizations.
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials