Reducing non-radiative voltage losses in organic solar cells using molecular encapsulation

Abstract
Non-radiative voltage loss is one of the significant bottlenecks limiting the performance of organic solar cells (OSCs). This work presents a material design approach for conjugated polymers isolating the polymer chains with molecular encapsulation, enabling better control over the donor–acceptor spacing. Bulk-heterojunction OSCs based on encapsulated polymers as electron donors show a remarkable increase of ∼50 mV in the Voc. Significant improvement in the Voc is attributed to reduced non-radiative voltage losses as evidenced by enhanced electroluminescence as a result of suppressed intermolecular aggregation and an increase in structural disorder. Importantly, molecular encapsulation resulted in notable improvement in the operational stability of OSCs with no burn-in loss in Voc, presenting a promising strategy to simultaneously enhance the performance and operational stability of OSCs.

Citation
Sharma, A., Sharma, L., Bertrandie, J., Villalva, D. R., Gao, Y., De Castro, C. S. P., Troughton, J., Gorenflot, J., Laquai, F., Bronstein, H., & Baran, D. (2023). Reducing non-radiative voltage losses in organic solar cells using molecular encapsulation. Materials Chemistry Frontiers. https://doi.org/10.1039/d2qm01044e

Acknowledgements
This work was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research under award no. OSR-CARF/CCF-3079, OSR-CRG2018-3737, OSR-CRG2018-3746, and OSR-CRG2019-4025. HB acknowledges the support from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under award no. EP/S003126/1.

Publisher
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

Journal
MATERIALS CHEMISTRY FRONTIERS

DOI
10.1039/d2qm01044e

Additional Links
http://xlink.rsc.org/?DOI=D2QM01044E

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