5 years ago

Ternary Solar Cells Based on Two Small Molecule Donors with Same Conjugated Backbone: The Role of Good Miscibility and Hole Relay Process

Ternary Solar Cells Based on Two Small Molecule Donors with Same Conjugated Backbone: The Role of Good Miscibility and Hole Relay Process
Tianqi Lai, Xiaobin Peng, Thomas P. Russell, Ke Gao, Liangang Xiao, Fei Huang, Yong Cao, Tianxiang Liang, Xuebin Chen, Feng Liu
Ternary organic solar cells (OSCs) are very attractive for further enhancing the power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of binary ones but still with a single active layer. However, improving the PCEs is still challenging because a ternary cell with one more component is more complicated on phase separation behavior. If the two donors or two acceptors have similar chemical structures, good miscibility can be expected to reduce the try-and-error work. Herein, we report ternary devices based on two small molecule donors with the same backbone but different substituents. Whereas both binary devices show PCEs about 9%, the PCE of the ternary cells is enhanced to 10.17% with improved fill factor and short-circuit current values and external quantum efficiencies almost in the whole absorption wavelength region from 440 to 850 nm. The same backbone enables the donors miscible at molecular level, and the donor with a higher HOMO level plays hole relay process to facilitate the charge transportation in the ternary devices. Since side-chain engineering has been well performed to tune the active materials’ energy levels in OSCs, our results suggest that their ternary systems are promising for further improving the binary cells’ performance although their absorptions are not complementary.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b07960

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b07960

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