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Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2018.00147

Utilizing Benzotriazole and Indacenodithiophene Units to Construct both Polymeric Donor and Small Molecular Acceptors to Realize Organic Solar Cells with High Open-Circuit Voltages beyond 1.2 V

 Ailing Tang1, Fan Chen1, Bo Chen1,  Zhan'Ao Tan2, Jing Yang1, Jianfeng Li1, Xiaochen Wang1 and  Erjun Zhou1*
  • 1National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (CAS), China
  • 2North China Electric Power University, China

Devolopment of organic solar cells with high open-circuit voltage (VOC) and power conversion efficiency (PCE) simutaniously plays a significant role, but there is no guideline how to choose the suitable photovoltaic material combinations. In this study, we adopted a simple and feasible strategy by utilizing the same electron-donating unit and electron-accepting segment to construct both polymeric donor and small molecular acceptors. The p-type polymer of PIDT-DTffBTA is designed by inserting conjugated bridge between indacenodithiophene (IDT) and fluorinated benzotriazole (BTA), while the n-type small molecules of BTAx (x = 1, 2, 3) are obtained by introducing different end-capped groups to BTA-IDT-BTA backbone. PIDT-DTffBTA: BTAx (x = 1-3) based photovolatic devices can realize high VOC of 1.21-1.37 V with the very small voltage loss (0.55-0.60 V), while only the PIDT-DTffBTA: BTA3 based device possesses the enough driving force for efficient hole and electron transfer and yields the optimal PCE of 5.67%, which is among the highest value for organic solar cells with a VOC beyond 1.20 V reported so far. Our results provide a simple and effective method to obtain fullerene-free organic solar cells with a high VOC and PCE.

Keywords: Benzotriazole, Indacenodithiophene, fullerene-free organic solar cells, high open-circuit voltage, non-fullerene acceptor

Received: 11 Mar 2018; Accepted: 16 Apr 2018.

Edited by:

Chuanlang Zhan, Institute of Chemistry (CAS), China

Reviewed by:

Qiang Peng, Sichuan University, China
Zhan'Ao Tan, North China Electric Power University, China  

Copyright: © 2018 Tang, Chen, Chen, Tan, Yang, Li, Wang and Zhou. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Erjun Zhou, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (CAS), Beijing, China, zhouej@nanoctr.cn