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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Aug 22;134(33):13616-23. doi: 10.1021/ja301872s. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

Vacuum-deposited small-molecule organic solar cells with high power conversion efficiencies by judicious molecular design and device optimization.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsin Chu 30013, Taiwan.


Three new tailor-made molecules (DPDCTB, DPDCPB, and DTDCPB) were strategically designed and convergently synthesized as donor materials for small-molecule organic solar cells. These compounds possess a donor-acceptor-acceptor molecular architecture, in which various electron-donating moieties are connected to an electron-withdrawing dicyanovinylene moiety through another electron-accepting 2,1,3-benzothiadiazole block. The molecular structures and crystal packings of DTDCPB and the previously reported DTDCTB were characterized by single-crystal X-ray crystallography. Photophysical and electrochemical properties as well as energy levels of this series of donor molecules were thoroughly investigated, affording clear structure-property relationships. By delicate manipulation of the trade-off between the photovoltage and the photocurrent via molecular structure engineering together with device optimizations, which included fine-tuning the layer thicknesses and the donor:acceptor blended ratio in the bulk heterojunction layer, vacuum-deposited hybrid planar-mixed heterojunction devices utilizing DTDCPB as the donor and C(70) as the acceptor showed the best performance with a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 6.6 ± 0.2% (the highest PCE of 6.8%), along with an open-circuit voltage (V(oc)) of 0.93 ± 0.02 V, a short-circuit current density (J(sc)) of 13.48 ± 0.27 mA/cm(2), and a fill factor (FF) of 0.53 ± 0.02, under 1 sun (100 mW/cm(2)) AM 1.5G simulated solar illumination.

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