High-Performance All-Polymer Solar Cells Enabled by an n-Type Polymer Based on a Fluorinated Imide-Functionalized Arene

Huiliang Sun, Yumin Tang, Chang Woo Koh, Shaohua Ling, Ruizhi Wang, Kun Yang, Jianwei Yu, Yongqiang Shi, Yingfeng Wang, Han Young Woo, Xugang Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


A novel imide-functionalized arene, di(fluorothienyl)thienothiophene diimide (f-FBTI2), featuring a fused backbone functionalized with electron-withdrawing F atoms, is designed, and the synthetic challenges associated with highly electron-deficient fluorinated imide are overcome. The incorporation of f-FBTI2 into polymer affords a high-performance n-type semiconductor f-FBTI2-T, which shows a reduced bandgap and lower-lying lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) energy level than the polymer analog without F or with F-functionalization on the donor moiety. These optoelectronic properties reflect the distinctive advantages of fluorination of electron-deficient acceptors, yielding “stronger acceptors,” which are desirable for n-type polymers. When used as a polymer acceptor in all-polymer solar cells, an excellent power conversion efficiency of 8.1% is achieved without any solvent additive or thermal treatment, which is the highest value reported for all-polymer solar cells except well-studied naphthalene diimide and perylene diimide-based n-type polymers. In addition, the solar cells show an energy loss of 0.53 eV, the smallest value reported to date for all-polymer solar cells with efficiency > 8%. These results demonstrate that fluorination of imide-functionalized arenes offers an effective approach for developing new electron-deficient building blocks with improved optoelectronic properties, and the emergence of f-FBTI2 will change the scenario in terms of developing n-type polymers for high-performance all-polymer solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1807220
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 12

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
H.S. and Y.T. contributed equally to this work. The authors thank National Natural Science Foundation of China (51573076 and 21801124), Shenzhen Basic Research Fund (JCYJ20170817105905899), Shenzhen Peacock Plan Project (KQTD20140630110339343), and the Shenzhen Key Lab funding (ZDSYS201505291525382). H.Y.W. is grateful to the financial support from the National Research Foundation of Korea (2016M1A2A2940911 and 2015M1A2A2057506).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • all-polymer solar cells
  • fluorination
  • imide-functionalized arene
  • n-type polymer
  • organic electronics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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