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J Phys Chem Lett. 2018 Dec 20;9(24):6955-6962. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b03247. Epub 2018 Dec 3.

Chlorinated Wide-Bandgap Donor Polymer Enabling Annealing Free Nonfullerene Solar Cells with the Efficiency of 11.5.

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Institute of Materials for Optoelectronics and New Energy, School of Materials Science and Engineering , Wuhan Institute of Technology , Wuhan 430205 , People's Republic of China.
Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics , Huazhong University of Science and Technology , Wuhan 430074 , People's Republic of China.
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering , Nanjing University , Nanjing 210023 , People's Republic of China.
Materials Science Division , Argonne National Laboratory , 9700 Cass Avenue , Lemont , Illinois 60439 , United States.
Institute of Molecular Engineering , The University of Chicago , 5640 South Ellis Avenue , Chicago , Illinois 60637 , United States.


Substituting the hydrogen atoms on the conjugated side chain of a wide-bandgap polymer J52 with chlorine atoms can simultaneously increase the Jsc, Voc, and FF of nonfullerene OSCs, leading to an efficiency boost from 3.78 to 11.53%, which is among the highest efficiencies for as-cast OSCs reported to date. To illustrate the impressive 3-fold PCE enhancement, the chlorination effect on the optical properties and energy levels of polymers, film morphology, and underlying charge dynamics is systematically investigated. Grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering studies show that chlorinated J52-2Cl exhibits strong molecule aggregation, the preferred face-on orientation, and enhanced intermolecular π-π interactions, hence increasing the charge carrier mobility by 1 order of magnitude. Moreover, chlorination modifies the miscibility between the donor and acceptor and consequently optimizes the phase separation morphology of J52-2Cl:ITIC blend films. These results highlight chlorination as a promising approach to achieve highly efficient as-cast OSCs without any extra treatment.

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