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J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Jun 10;131(22):7792-9. doi: 10.1021/ja901545q.

Highly efficient solar cell polymers developed via fine-tuning of structural and electronic properties.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and the James Franck Institute, The University of Chicago, 929 E. 57th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


This paper describes synthesis and photovoltaic studies of a series of new semiconducting polymers with alternating thieno[3,4-b]thiophene and benzodithiophene units. The physical properties of these polymers were finely tuned to optimize their photovoltaic effect. The substitution of alkoxy side chains to the less electron-donating alkyl chains or introduction of electron-withdrawing fluorine into the polymer backbone reduced the HOMO energy levels of polymers. The structural modifications optimized polymers' spectral coverage of absorption and their hole mobility, as well as miscibility with fulleride, and enhanced polymer solar cell performances. The open circuit voltage, V(oc), for polymer solar cells was increased by adjusting polymer energy levels. It was found that films with finely distributed polymer/fulleride interpenetrating network exhibited improved solar cell conversion efficiency. Efficiency over 6% has been achieved in simple solar cells based on fluorinated PTB4/PC(61)BM films prepared from mixed solvents. The results proved that polymer solar cells have a bright future.

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