5 years ago

Tuning Near-Infrared Absorbing Donor Materials: A Study of Electronic, Optical, and Charge-Transport Properties of aza-BODIPYs

Tuning Near-Infrared Absorbing Donor Materials: A Study of Electronic, Optical, and Charge-Transport Properties of aza-BODIPYs
Frank Ortmann, Gianaurelio Cuniberti, Karl Leo, Christian Körner, Olaf Zeika, Karl Sebastian Schellhammer, Tian-Yi Li
The class of 4,4′-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a,8-triaza-s-indacenes (aza-BODIPYs) are promising near-infrared absorber materials which are successfully used in organic solar cells to extend their absorption to the near-infrared regime. We computationally studied electronic properties, internal reorganization energies, and the optical properties of more than 100 promising candidates and derived design principles, including novel functionalization routes, to improve their performance as donor materials. We synthesized and characterized several of the promising molecules, confirming the predicted trends. The best charge transport properties and absorption characteristics are obtained for naphthalene-annulated molecular cores due to optimally delocalized frontier molecular orbitals. Further optimization can be achieved by α-functionalization with fluorinated groups, β-functionalization with accepting substituents, and modification of the borondifluoride group. For such molecules, we predict a bathochromic shift in the absorption, which should not significantly reduce the open-circuit voltage. Torsional restriction of α-substituents by carbon bridges can further improve both charge transport and absorption. The theoretically and experimentally observed independence of most of the functionalization strategies makes BODIPYs an ideal material class for tailor-made absorber materials that can cover a broad range of absorption, charge transport, and energetic regimes, calling for further exploration in organic solar cell applications, fluorescence microscopy, and photodynamic therapy.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b00653

DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b00653

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