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J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Aug 20;136(33):11578-81. doi: 10.1021/ja5051692. Epub 2014 Aug 6.

A new tetracyclic lactam building block for thick, broad-bandgap photovoltaics.

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  • 1Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia , Adelaide, SA 5095, Australia.

Abstract

A new tetracyclic lactam building block for polymer semiconductors is reported that was designed to combine the many favorable properties that larger fused and/or amide-containing building blocks can induce, including improved solid-state packing, high charge carrier mobility, and improved charge separation. Copolymerization with thiophene resulted in a semicrystalline conjugated polymer, PTNT, with a broad bandgap of 2.2 eV. Grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering of PTNT thin films revealed a strong tendency for face-on π-stacking of the polymer backbone, which was retained in PTNT:fullerene blends. Corresponding solar cells featured a high open-circuit voltage of 0.9 V, a fill factor around 0.6, and a power conversion efficiency as high as 5% for >200 nm thick active layers, regardless of variations in blend stoichiometry and nanostructure. Moreover, efficiencies of >4% could be retained when thick active layers of ∼400 nm were employed. Overall, these values are the highest reported for a conjugated polymer with such a broad bandgap and are unprecedented in materials for tandem and particularly ternary blend photovoltaics. Hence, the newly developed tetracyclic lactam unit has significant potential as a conjugated building block in future organic electronic materials.

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