American Chemical Society
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A Cost-Effective Alpha-Fluorinated Bithienyl Benzodithiophene Unit for High-Performance Polymer Donor Material

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-11-10, 14:33 authored by Wenqing Zhang, Chenkai Sun, Shucheng Qin, Ziya Shang, Shaman Li, Can Zhu, Guang Yang, Lei Meng, Yongfang Li
To reduce synthetic cost of the classic fluorinated bithienyl benzodithiophene (BDTT-F) unit, here, an alpha-fluorinated bithienyl benzodithiophene unit, namely, α-BDTT-F (F atom in the α position of the lateral thiophene unit), is developed by the isomerization strategy of exchanging the positions of the F atom and flexible alkyl chain on the lateral thiophene unit of the BDTT-F unit. The α-BDTT-F unit was synthesized with less synthetic steps, higher synthetic yield, and less purification times from the same raw materials as those of the BDTT-F unit, thus with low synthetic cost. Theoretical calculation indicates that the α-BDTT-F unit possesses a similar twisted conformation and electronic structures as those of the BDTT-F unit. The α-BDTT-F-based polymer α-PBQ10 exhibits similar light absorption and energy levels as those of the corresponding BDTT-F-based polymer PBQ10 but marginally increased molecular aggregation and stronger hole transport than PBQ10. In consequence, the α-PBQ10:Y6-based polymer solar cell demonstrates a slightly enhanced power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 16.26% compared with that of the PBQ10:Y6-based device (PCE = 16.23%). Also, the PCE is further improved to 16.77% through subtle microscopic morphology regulation of the photoactive layer with the fullerene derivative indene-C60 bisadduct as the third component. This work provides new ideas for the design of low-cost and high-efficiency photovoltaic molecules.