Benzoyl side-chains push the open-circuit voltage of PCDTBT/PCBM solar cells beyond 1 V

07 Sep 2017

The synthesis, characterization and solar cell performance of PCDTBT and its highly soluble analogue hexyl-PCDTBT with cross-conjugated benzoyl moieties at the carbazole comonomer are presented. Through the use of both model reactions and time-controlled microwave-assisted Suzuki polycondensation, the base-induced cleavage of the benzoyl group from the polymer backbone has been successfully suppressed. Compared to the commonly used symmetrically branched alkyl motif, the benzoyl substituent lowers the energy levels of PCDTBT as well as the band gap, and consequently increases energy of the charge transfer state in blends with PC71BM. As a result, photovoltaic diodes with high-open circuit voltage of above 1 V are realized.