Metallated terpolymer donors with strongly absorbing iridium complex enables polymer solar cells with 16.71% efficiency

Miao Zhang, Xiaoling Ma, Hongyang Zhang, Longzhi Zhu, Linli Xu, Fujun Zhang, Chui Shan Tsang, Lawrence Yoon Suk Lee, Han Young Woo, Zhicai He, Wai Yeung Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


With the sharp growth of non-fullerene acceptors, it is still challenging to develop new polymer donors for highly efficient polymer solar cells (PSCs). Here, a series of metallated terpolymer donors PM6Irx (x = 1%, 3%, 5%) are synthesized by incorporating a new iridium complex, named M1, into the backbone of the state-of-the-art polymer PM6. The M1 shows a strong absorption in the visible region, which is beneficial to enhance photon harvesting in the active layer. The PM6Ir1:Y6 based PSCs exhibit the best power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 16.71% with short-circuit current density (JSC) of 26.16 mA cm−2, open-circuit voltage (VOC) of 0.848 V and fill factor (FF) of 75.33%. A PCE improvement of about 7% is achieved compared with PM6Ir0:Y6 based control device with PCE of 15.65%, which is due to the markedly increased JSC and FF. The introduction of a moderate amount of M1 enhances the photon harvesting, triplet excitons and lifetime, charge mobility as well as optimizes the active layer morphology. This work indicates that iridium complexes with strong absorption in the visible region have a great potential to promote the photovoltaic performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132832
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Science, Technology and Innovation Committee of Shenzhen Municipality (JCYJ20180507183413211), the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 52073242 and 61975006 ), the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (PolyU 153058/19P and C5037-18G ), Hong Kong Polytechnic University ( 1-ZE1C ), Research Institute for Smart Energy (CDA2), Ms. Clarea Au for the Endowed Professorship in Energy (847S), the Guangdong International Science and Technology Cooperation Foundation ( 2020A0505100002 ), Hong Kong Scholars Program ( XJ2019013 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Iridium complexation
  • Polymer donors
  • Polymer solar cells
  • Terpolymer strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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