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Syntheses, Charge Separation, and Inverted Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cell Application of Phenothiazine–Fullerene Dyads

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journal contribution
posted on 18.03.2016, 00:00 by Gwendolyn D. Blanco, Arto J. Hiltunen, Gary N. Lim, Chandra B. KC, Kimmo M. Kaunisto, Tommi K. Vuorinen, Vladimir N. Nesterov, Helge J. Lemmetyinen, Francis D’Souza
A series of phenothiazine–fulleropyrrolidine (PTZ-C60) dyads having fullerene either at the C-3 aromatic ring position or at the N-position of phenothiazine macrocycle were newly synthesized and characterized. Photoinduced electron transfer leading to PTZ• +-C60• – charge-separated species was established from studies involving femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. Because of the close proximity of the donor and acceptor entities, the C-3 ring substituted PTZ-C60 dyads revealed faster charge separation and charge recombination processes than that observed in the dyad functionalized through the N-position. Next, inverted organic bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells were constructed using the dyads in place of traditionally used [6,6]-phenyl-C61- butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) and an additional electron donor material poly­(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT). The performance of the C-3 ring substituted PTZ-C60 dyad having a polyethylene glycol substituent produced a power conversion efficiency of 3.5% under inverted bulk heterojunction (BHJ) configuration. This was attributed to optimal BHJ morphology between the polymer and the dyad, which was further promoted by the efficient intramolecular charge separation and relatively slow charge recombination promoted by the dyad within the BHJ structure. The present finding demonstrate PTZ-C60 dyads as being good prospective materials for building organic photovoltaic devices.