Efficient conventional- and inverted-type photovoltaic cells using a planar alternating polythiophene copolymer

Wonho Lee, Hyosung Choi, Sungu Hwang, Jin Young Kim, Han Young Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


A low-band-gap alternating copolymer, poly{5,6-bis(octyloxy)-4-(thiophen-2- yl)benzo[c]-1,2,5-thiadiazole} (PTBT), was synthesized and investigated for photovoltaic applications. PTBT showed a minimized torsion angle in its main backbone owing to the introduction of solubilizing octyloxy groups on the electron-poor benzothiadiazole unit, thereby resulting in pronounced intermolecular ordering and a deep level of the HOMO (-5.41 eV). By blending PTBT with [6,6]phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC 61BM), highly promising performance was achieved with power-conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of 5.9 and 5.3% for the conventional and inverted devices, respectively, under air mass 1.5 global (AM 1.5G, 100 mWcm -2) illumination. The open-circuit voltage (V OC≈0.85-0.87 V) is one of the highest values reported thus far for thiophene-based polymers (e.g., poly(3-hexylthiophene) V OC≈0.6 V). The inverted device also achieved a remarkable PCE compared to other devices based on low-band-gap polymers. Ideal film morphology with bicontinuous percolation pathways was expected from the atomic force microscopy (AFM) images, space-charge-limited current (SCLC) mobility, and selected-area electron-diffraction (SAED) measurements. This molecular design strategy is useful for achieving simple, processable, and planar donor-acceptor (D-A)-type low-band-gap polymers with a deep HOMO for applications in photovoltaic cells. A hard cell: A planar low-band-gap copolymer (PTBT) with high intermolecular ordering and a deep HOMO level was synthesized for use in photovoltaic cells. PTBT contained alternating thiophene and alkoxy-substituted benzothiadiazole groups. Both conventional- and inverted-type photovoltaic devices showed promising power-conversion efficiencies (5.9 and 5.3%, respectively).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2551-2558
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb 27
Externally publishedYes


  • charge transfer
  • copolymerization
  • pi interactions
  • polymers
  • solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry


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