Molecular design of interfacial layers based on conjugated polythiophenes for polymer and hybrid solar cells

06 Dec 2017

© 2017 Society of Chemical Industry In the past two decades, bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices have emerged as attractive candidates for solar energy conversion due to their lightweight design and potential for low-cost, high-throughput, solution-phase processability. Interfacial engineering is a proven efficient approach to achieve OPV devices with high power conversion efficiencies. This mini-review provides an overview of the key structural considerations necessary when undertaking the molecular design of conjugated polyelectrolytes, for application as interfacial layers (ILs). The different roles of ILs are outlined, together with the advantages and disadvantages of competing classes of IL materials. Particular emphasis is placed on the design and synthesis of water-soluble polythiophene-based IL materials and the influence of their structural characteristics on their performance as a promising class of IL material. Finally, the challenges and opportunities for polythiophenes as IL materials for OPV devices and other solution-processed solar cell technologies (e.g. perovskite solar cells) are discussed. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.