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Title: Molecular helices as electron acceptors in high-performance bulk heterojunction solar cells

Abstract

Despite numerous organic semiconducting materials synthesized for organic photovoltaics in the past decade, fullerenes are widely used as electron acceptors in highly efficient bulk-heterojunction solar cells. None of the non-fullerene bulk heterojunction solar cells have achieved efficiencies as high as fullerene-based solar cells. Design principles for fullerene-free acceptors remain unclear in the field. Here we report examples of helical molecular semiconductors as electron acceptors that are on par with fullerene derivatives in efficient solar cells. We achieved an 8.3% power conversion efficiency in a solar cell, which is a record high for non-fullerene bulk heterojunctions. Femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy revealed both electron and hole transfer processes at the donor–acceptor interfaces. Atomic force microscopy reveals a mesh-like network of acceptors with pores that are tens of nanometres in diameter for efficient exciton separation and charge transport. As a result, this study describes a new motif for designing highly efficient acceptors for organic solar cells.

Authors:
;  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [4];  [4];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [4];  [2];  [2];  [2]
  1. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  2. Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)
  3. Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States); Wuhan Univ. of Science and Technology, Wuhan (China)
  4. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1235872
Report Number(s):
BNL-108124-2015-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723; R&D Project: 16065/16074; KC0403020
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC00112704
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 01; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; chemical sciences; materials science; nanotechnology

Citation Formats

Yu M. Zhong, Nam, Chang -Yong, Trinh, M. Tuan, Chen, Rongsheng, Purdum, Geoffrey E., Khlyabich, Petr P., Sezen, Melda, Oh, Seokjoon, Zhu, Haiming, Fowler, Brandon, Zhang, Boyuan, Wang, Wei, Sfeir, Matthew Y., Black, Charles T., Steigerwald, Michael L., Loo, Yueh -Lin, Ng, Fay, Zhu, X. -Y., and Nuckolls, Colin. Molecular helices as electron acceptors in high-performance bulk heterojunction solar cells. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1038/ncomms9242.
Yu M. Zhong, Nam, Chang -Yong, Trinh, M. Tuan, Chen, Rongsheng, Purdum, Geoffrey E., Khlyabich, Petr P., Sezen, Melda, Oh, Seokjoon, Zhu, Haiming, Fowler, Brandon, Zhang, Boyuan, Wang, Wei, Sfeir, Matthew Y., Black, Charles T., Steigerwald, Michael L., Loo, Yueh -Lin, Ng, Fay, Zhu, X. -Y., & Nuckolls, Colin. Molecular helices as electron acceptors in high-performance bulk heterojunction solar cells. United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms9242.
Yu M. Zhong, Nam, Chang -Yong, Trinh, M. Tuan, Chen, Rongsheng, Purdum, Geoffrey E., Khlyabich, Petr P., Sezen, Melda, Oh, Seokjoon, Zhu, Haiming, Fowler, Brandon, Zhang, Boyuan, Wang, Wei, Sfeir, Matthew Y., Black, Charles T., Steigerwald, Michael L., Loo, Yueh -Lin, Ng, Fay, Zhu, X. -Y., and Nuckolls, Colin. Fri . "Molecular helices as electron acceptors in high-performance bulk heterojunction solar cells". United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms9242. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1235872.
@article{osti_1235872,
title = {Molecular helices as electron acceptors in high-performance bulk heterojunction solar cells},
author = {Yu M. Zhong and Nam, Chang -Yong and Trinh, M. Tuan and Chen, Rongsheng and Purdum, Geoffrey E. and Khlyabich, Petr P. and Sezen, Melda and Oh, Seokjoon and Zhu, Haiming and Fowler, Brandon and Zhang, Boyuan and Wang, Wei and Sfeir, Matthew Y. and Black, Charles T. and Steigerwald, Michael L. and Loo, Yueh -Lin and Ng, Fay and Zhu, X. -Y. and Nuckolls, Colin},
abstractNote = {Despite numerous organic semiconducting materials synthesized for organic photovoltaics in the past decade, fullerenes are widely used as electron acceptors in highly efficient bulk-heterojunction solar cells. None of the non-fullerene bulk heterojunction solar cells have achieved efficiencies as high as fullerene-based solar cells. Design principles for fullerene-free acceptors remain unclear in the field. Here we report examples of helical molecular semiconductors as electron acceptors that are on par with fullerene derivatives in efficient solar cells. We achieved an 8.3% power conversion efficiency in a solar cell, which is a record high for non-fullerene bulk heterojunctions. Femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy revealed both electron and hole transfer processes at the donor–acceptor interfaces. Atomic force microscopy reveals a mesh-like network of acceptors with pores that are tens of nanometres in diameter for efficient exciton separation and charge transport. As a result, this study describes a new motif for designing highly efficient acceptors for organic solar cells.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms9242},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = 01,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Sep 18 00:00:00 EDT 2015},
month = {Fri Sep 18 00:00:00 EDT 2015}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Integrated Molecular, Interfacial, and Device Engineering towards High-Performance Non-Fullerene Based Organic Solar Cells
journal, June 2014

  • Zang, Yue; Li, Chang-Zhi; Chueh, Chu-Chen
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Hierarchical Nanomorphologies Promote Exciton Dissociation in Polymer/Fullerene Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells
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For the Bright Future-Bulk Heterojunction Polymer Solar Cells with Power Conversion Efficiency of 7.4%
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