An effective molecular engineering approach for employing a halogen-free solvent for the fabrication of solution-processed small molecule solar cells.
Authors of this article are:
Abbas Z, Shin J, Alta R, Rasool S, Song CE, Lee HK, Lee SK, Shin WS, So WW, Kwon SK, Kim YH, Lee JC.
A summary of the article is shown below:
To utilize the potential of small-molecule-based organic solar cells (SMOSCs), proper designs of the photoactive materials which result in reasonable performance in a halogen-free solvent system and thicknesses tolerance over a range are required. One of the best approaches to achieve these requirements is via the molecular engineering of the small-molecule electron donor. Here, we have modified a previously reported dithienobenzodithiophene (DTBDT) based small molecule (SM1) via the dimerization approach, i.e., the insertion of an additional DTBDT into the main backbone of the small molecule (SM2). SM1-based photoactive film showed severe pinhole formation throughout the film when processed with a halogen-free o-xylene solvent. On the other hand, the modified small-molecule SM2 formed an excellent pinhole-free film when processed with the o-xylene solvent. Due to the dimerization of the DTBDT in the SM2 core, highly crystalline films with compact lamellae and an enhanced donor/acceptor interdigitation were formed, and all of these factors led to high-efficiency of 8.64% with the CF and 8.37% with the o-xylene solvent systems. To the best of our knowledge, this study represents one of the best results with SM donor and fullerene derivative acceptor materials that have shown the device performance with halogen-free solvents.
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