"Double-Cable" conjugated polymers with linear backbone toward high quantum efficiencies in single-component polymer solar cells

G. Feng, J. Li, F.J.M. Colberts, M. Li, J. Zhang, F. Yang, Y. Jin, F. Zhang, R.A.J. Janssen, C. Li, W. Li

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A series of “double-cable” conjugated polymers were developed for application in efficient single-component polymer solar cells, in which high quantum efficiencies could be achieved due to the optimized nanophase separation between donor and acceptor parts. The new double-cable polymers contain electron-donating poly(benzodithiophene) (BDT) as linear conjugated backbone for hole transport and pendant electron-deficient perylene bisimide (PBI) units for electron transport, connected via a dodecyl linker. Sulfur and fluorine substituents were introduced to tune the energy levels and crystallinity of the conjugated polymers. The double-cable polymers adopt a “face-on” orientation in which the conjugated BDT backbone and the pendant PBI units have a preferential π–π stacking direction perpendicular to the substrate, favorable for interchain charge transport normal to the plane. The linear conjugated backbone acts as a scaffold for the crystallization of the PBI groups, to provide a double-cable nanophase separation of donor and acceptor phases. The optimized nanophase separation enables efficient exciton dissociation as well as charge transport as evidenced from the high—up to 80%—internal quantum efficiency for photon-to-electron conversion. In single-component organic solar cells, the double-cable polymers provide power conversion efficiency up to 4.18%. This is one of the highest performances in single-component organic solar cells. The nanophase-separated design can likely be used to achieve high-performance single-component organic solar cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18647-18656
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2017


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