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Nat Commun. 2016 Oct 26;7:13094. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13094.

Donor polymer design enables efficient non-fullerene organic solar cells.

Li Z1, Jiang K1,2, Yang G1,3, Lai JY1, Ma T1, Zhao J1, Ma W3, Yan H1,2,4.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
2
HKUST-Shenzhen Research Institute, No. 9 Yuexing 1st Road, Hi-tech Park, Nanshan, Shenzhen 518057, China.
3
State Key Laboratory for Mechanical Behavior of Materials, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China.
4
Institute of Polymer Optoelectronic Materials and Devices, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China.

Abstract

To achieve efficient organic solar cells, the design of suitable donor-acceptor couples is crucially important. State-of-the-art donor polymers used in fullerene cells may not perform well when they are combined with non-fullerene acceptors, thus new donor polymers need to be developed. Here we report non-fullerene organic solar cells with efficiencies up to 10.9%, enabled by a novel donor polymer that exhibits strong temperature-dependent aggregation but with intentionally reduced polymer crystallinity due to the introduction of a less symmetric monomer unit. Our comparative study shows that an analogue polymer with a C2 symmetric monomer unit yields highly crystalline polymer films but less efficient non-fullerene cells. Based on a monomer with a mirror symmetry, our best donor polymer exhibits reduced crystallinity, yet such a polymer matches better with small molecular acceptors. This study provides important insights to the design of donor polymers for non-fullerene organic solar cells.

Conflict of interest statement

A patent application relevant to this work has been filed and submitted to United States Patent and Trademark Office by H.Y. and Z.L. All other authors declare no competing financial interests.

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