Structural Variation of Donor-Acceptor Copolymers Containing Benzodithiophene with Bithienyl Substituents to Achieve High Open Circuit Voltage in Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells


Three new donor-acceptor copolymers P1, P2, and P3 were synthesized with benzodithiophene with bithienyl substituents as the donor and 5,6-difluorobenzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole, 4,7-di(thiophen-2-yl)benzo[c][1,2,5] thiadiazole, and 5,6-difluoro-4,7-di(thiophen-2-yl)benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole as the acceptors, respectively. The insertion of thiophene spacer between the donor and the acceptor broadened the absorption of the polymers P2 and P3 and resulted in a red shift of ~30 nm as compared to that of the polymer P1. However, the inclusion of fluorine atoms on the polymer had detrimental effects on the photovoltaic properties of the polymers. The synthesized donor-acceptor polymers were tested in bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells with [6,6]-phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) acceptor. Polymer P2 gave a PCE of 3.52% with PC71BM in which the active layer was prepared in chloroform with 3% v/v 1,8-diiodooctane (DIO) additive. The effect of fluorine substitution and thiophene group insertion on the UV/Vis absorbance, photovoltaic performances, morphology, and charge carrier mobilities for the polymers are discussed.


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"Financial support for this project from NSF (Career DMR-0956116) and Welch Foundation (AT-1740) is gratefully acknowledged. We gratefully acknowledge the NSF-MRI grant (CHE-1126177) used to purchase the Bruker Avance III 500 NMR instrument."


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