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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Jun 20;134(24):10071-9. doi: 10.1021/ja301460s. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Systematic investigation of benzodithiophene- and diketopyrrolopyrrole-based low-bandgap polymers designed for single junction and tandem polymer solar cells.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


The tandem solar cell architecture is an effective way to harvest a broader part of the solar spectrum and make better use of the photonic energy than the single junction cell. Here, we present the design, synthesis, and characterization of a series of new low bandgap polymers specifically for tandem polymer solar cells. These polymers have a backbone based on the benzodithiophene (BDT) and diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) units. Alkylthienyl and alkylphenyl moieties were incorporated onto the BDT unit to form BDTT and BDTP units, respectively; a furan moiety was incorporated onto the DPP unit in place of thiophene to form the FDPP unit. Low bandgap polymers (bandgap = 1.4-1.5 eV) were prepared using BDTT, BDTP, FDPP, and DPP units via Stille-coupling polymerization. These structural modifications lead to polymers with different optical, electrochemical, and electronic properties. Single junction solar cells were fabricated, and the polymer:PC(71)BM active layer morphology was optimized by adding 1,8-diiodooctane (DIO) as an additive. In the single-layer photovoltaic device, they showed power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of 3-6%. When the polymers were applied in tandem solar cells, PCEs over 8% were reached, demonstrating their great potential for high efficiency tandem polymer solar cells.

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