Aqueous Processed All-Polymer Solar Cells with High Open-Circuit Voltage Based on Low-Cost Thiophene-Quinoxaline Polymers

Tadele T. Filate, Seungjin Lee, Leandro R. Franco, Qiaonan Chen, Zewdneh Genene, Cleber F.N. Marchiori, Yoonjoo Lee, Moyses Araujo, Wendimagegn Mammo, Han Young Woo, Bumjoon J. Kim, Ergang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Eco-friendly solution processing and the low-cost synthesis of photoactive materials are important requirements for the commercialization of organic solar cells (OSCs). Although varieties of aqueous-soluble acceptors have been developed, the availability of aqueous-processable polymer donors remains quite limited. In particular, the generally shallow highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) energy levels of existing polymer donors limit further increases in the power conversion efficiency (PCE). Here, we design and synthesize two water/alcohol-processable polymer donors, poly[(thiophene-2,5-diyl)-alt-(2-((13-(2,5,8,11-tetraoxadodecyl)-2,5,8,11-tetraoxatetradecan-14-yl)oxy)-6,7-difluoroquinoxaline-5,8-diyl)] (P(Qx8O-T)) and poly[(selenophene-2,5-diyl)-alt-(2-((13-(2,5,8,11-tetraoxadodecyl)-2,5,8,11-tetraoxatetradecan-14-yl)oxy)-6,7-difluoroquinoxaline-5,8-diyl)] (P(Qx8O-Se)) with oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG) side chains, having deep HOMO energy levels (∼−5.4 eV). The synthesis of the polymers is achieved in a few synthetic and purification steps at reduced cost. The theoretical calculations uncover that the dielectric environmental variations are responsible for the observed band gap lowering in OEG-based polymers compared to their alkylated counterparts. Notably, the aqueous-processed all-polymer solar cells (aq-APSCs) based on P(Qx8O-T) and poly[(N,N′-bis(3-(2-(2-(2-methoxyethoxy)-ethoxy)ethoxy)-2-((2-(2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethoxy)ethoxy)-methyl)propyl)naphthalene-1,4,5,8-bis(dicarboximide)-2,6-diyl)-alt-(2,5-thiophene)] (P(NDIDEG-T)) active layer exhibit a PCE of 2.27% and high open-circuit voltage (VOC) approaching 0.8 V, which are among the highest values for aq-APSCs reported to date.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12886-12896
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Mar 13

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society


  • all-polymer solar cell
  • aqueous-processable
  • eco-compatibility
  • low-cost
  • oligo(ethylene glycol)
  • open-circuit voltage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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