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Science News: 2022 Joule, Up to 17.2% Efficiency! The Application of Polythiophene in Organic Solar Cells

  Joule (IF 41.248) published a study in March 2022. Polythiophenes (PTs) are materials with high electrical conductivity, optical properties, and environmental constancy, and their low production cost make them promising electron donors for organic solar cells (OSCs). However, the device performance of PTs in OSCs is rather poor due to unmatched energy levels and unfavorable active layer morphology. To address this issue, the research team proposed a set of novel PTs (P5TCN-Fx) with cyano substitutions and varied fluorination degrees to improve the efficiency of OSCs.

P5TCN-F25 organic solar cell

  The addition of the cyano-group makes the new PTs with deep-lying energy levels. Backbone fluorination leads to enhanced interchain interaction, improved polymer crystallinity and proper thermodynamic miscibility with Y6, the primary acceptor of the new PTs. The research team used a solar simulator to analyze its photovoltaic characteristics and used other instruments to assist in the experiments. It was found that multiple PTs provided over 16% efficiency in binary OSCs. Furthermore, a remarkable PCE of 17.2% was obtained by the ternary hybrid design of P5TCN-F25, this new efficiency record represents a major breakthrough for PT-based OSCs. This study opens up a new avenue for realizing high-performance OSCs using low-cost materials.

Polythiophenes for organic solar cells surpassing 17%

Polythiophenes for organic solar cells with efficiency surpassing 17%

EQE Jsc PCE SCLC P5TCN-F25 organic solar cell

Keywords: polythiophene, organic solar cell, solar simulator, sun simulator

Article link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2022.02.006

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