We present here a series of wide-band-gap (Eg: >1.8 eV) polymer donors by incorporating thiophene-flanked phenylene as an electron-donating unit and quinoxaline as an electron-Accepting co-unit to attain large open-circuit voltages (Vocs) and short-circuit currents (Jscs) in nonfullerene organic solar cells (OSCs). Fluorination was utilized to fine-Tailor the energetics of polymer frontier molecular orbitals (FMOs) by replacing a variable number of H atoms on the phenylene moiety with F. It was found that fluorination can effectively modulate the polymer backbone planarity through intramolecular noncovalent S···F and/or H···F interactions. Polymers (P2-P4) show an improved molecular packing with a favorable face-on orientation compared to their nonfluorinated analogue (P1), which is critical to charge carrier transport and collection. When mixed with IDIC, a nonfullerene acceptor, P3 with two F atoms, achieves a remarkable Voc of 1.00 V and a large Jsc of 15.99 mA/cm2, simultaneously, yielding a power-conversion efficiency (PCE) of 9.7%. Notably, the 1.00 V Voc is among the largest values in the IDIC-based OSCs, leading to a small energy loss (Eloss: 0.62 eV) while maintaining a large PCE. The P3:IDIC blend shows an efficient exciton dissociation through hole transfer even under a small energy offset of 0.16 eV. Further fluorination leads to the polymer P4 with increased chain-Twisting and mismatched FMO levels with IDIC, showing the lowest PCE of 2.93%. The results demonstrate that quinoxaline-based copolymers are promising donors for efficient OSCs and the fluorination needs to be fine-Adjusted to optimize the interchain packing and physicochemical properties of polymers. Additionally, the structure-property correlations from this work provide useful insights for developing wide-band-gap polymers with low-lying highest occupied molecular orbitals to minimize Eloss and maximize Voc in nonfullerene OSCs for efficient power conversion.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
X.G. is grateful to the National Science Foundation of China (21774055), Shenzhen Peacock Plan Project (KQTD20140630110339343), Shenzhen Basic Research Fund (JCYJ20160530185244662), Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (2015A030313900), and South University of Science and Technology of China (FRG-SUSTC1501A-72). M.A.U. and H.Y.W. acknowledge the financial support from the NRF of Korea (2015R1D1A1A09056905, 20100020209) and Korea University Grant.
Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society.
- energy losses
- nonfullerene organic solar cells
- open-circuit voltages
- polymer semiconductors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)