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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2019 Sep 4;11(35):32218-32224. doi: 10.1021/acsami.9b11700. Epub 2019 Aug 22.

Thioether Bond Modification Enables Boosted Photovoltaic Performance of Nonfullerene Polymer Solar Cells.

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Key Laboratory of Biofuels, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology , Chinese Academy of Sciences , Qingdao 266101 , China.
Department of Chemistry and Hong Kong Branch of Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Tissue Restoration & Reconstruction , Hong Kong University of Science and Technology , Clear Water Bay , Kowloon , Hong Kong.
Department of Physics , Chinese University of Hong Kong , New Territories , Hong Kong , China.
Institute of Advanced Scientific Research (iASR) , Jiangxi Normal University , 99 Ziyang Avenue , Nanchang 330022 , China.
Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, CAS Key Laboratory of Organic Solids, Institute of Chemistry , Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100190 , China.


A small-molecule nonfullerene acceptor, ITIC-S, bearing a fused heptacyclic benzodi(cyclopentadithiophene) core with a thioether-bond-substituted thiophene, is designed, synthesized, and compared with its alkyl-substituted analog, ITIC2. Compared with ITIC2, ITIC-S with a thioether bond exhibits higher electron mobility, a slightly larger optical band gap, and similar absorption. The active layer incorporating ITIC-S and the wide-bandgap polymeric donor PBDB-T-SF displays a smaller crystalline coherent length of π-π stacking, more balanced mobilities, weaker bimolecular recombination, and more effective charge collection than its PBDB-T-SF:ITIC2 counterpart. Accordingly, polymer solar cells incorporating ITIC-S and PBDB-T-SF demonstrate a fill factor (FF) of 66.8% and a champion power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 11.6%, exceeding those of the PBDB-T-SF:ITIC2 blend (PCE = 10.1%, FF = 59.7%), which shows that the thioether bond substitution strategy is an easy yet viable way for designing high-performance electron acceptors.


n-type organic semiconductor; organic photovoltaics; polymer solar cells; small-molecular acceptor; thioether bond


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