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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2017 Dec 20;9(50):43861-43870. doi: 10.1021/acsami.7b13426. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

Bispentafluorophenyl-Containing Additive: Enhancing Efficiency and Morphological Stability of Polymer Solar Cells via Hand-Grabbing-Like Supramolecular Pentafluorophenyl-Fullerene Interactions.

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National Chiao Tung University , Department of Applied Chemistry, University Road, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan.
Institute of Polymer Science and Engineering, National Taiwan University , No.1, Sec.4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei 10617, Taiwan.
National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center , 101 Hsin-Ann Road, Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu 30076, Taiwan.
National Tsing Hua University , Department of Chemical Engineering, 101, Section 2, Kuang-Fu Road, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan.


A new class of additive materials bis(pentafluorophenyl) diesters (BFEs) where the two pentafluorophenyl (C6F5) moieties are attached at the both ends of a linear aliphatic chain with tunable tether lengths (BF5, BF7, and BF13) were designed and synthesized. In the presence of BF7 to restrict the migration of fullerene by hand-grabbing-like supramolecular interactions induced between the C6F5 groups and the surface of fullerene, the P3HT:PC61BM:BF7 device showed stable device characteristics after thermal heating at 150 °C for 25 h. The morphologies of the active layers were systematically investigated by optical microscopy, grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS), and atomic force microscopy. The tether length between the two C6F5 groups plays a pivotal role in controlling the intermolecular attractions. BF13 with a long and flexible tether might form a BF13-fullerene sandwich complex that fails to prevent fullerene's movement and aggregation, while BF5 with too short tether length decreases the possibility of interactions between the C6F5 groups and the fullerenes. BF7 with the optimal tether length has the best ability to stabilize the morphology. In sharp contrast, the nonfluorinated BP7 analogue without C6F5-C60 physical interactions does not have the capability of morphological stabilization, unambiguously revealing the necessity of the C6F5 group. Most importantly, the function of BF7 can be also applied to the high-performance PffBT4BT-2OD:PC71BM system, which exhibited an original PCE of 8.80%. After thermal heating at 85 °C for 200 h, the efficiency of the PffBT4BT-2OD:PC71BM:BF7 device only decreased slightly to 7.73%, maintaining 88% of its original efficiency. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the thermal-driven morphological evolution of the high-performance PffBT4BT-2OD polymer has been investigated, and its morphological stability in the inverted device can be successfully preserved by the incorporation of BF7. This research also demonstrates that BF7 is not only effective with PC61BM but also to PC71BM.


additives; fullerene aggregation; morphological stability; polymer solar cells; supramolecular interactions


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