Highly efficient fullerene and non-fullerene based ternary organic solar cells incorporating a new tetrathiocin-cored semiconductor

Krishnan Jagadamma, Lethy and Taylor, Rupert G. D. and Kanibolotsky, Alexander L. and Sajjad, Muhammad Tariq and Wright, Iain A. and Horton, Peter N. and Coles, Simon J. and Samuel, Ifor D. W. and Skabara, Peter J. (2019) Highly efficient fullerene and non-fullerene based ternary organic solar cells incorporating a new tetrathiocin-cored semiconductor. Sustainable Energy and Fuels, 3 (8). pp. 2087-2099. ISSN 2398-4902

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    Abstract

    A new dual-chain oligothiophene-based organic semiconductor, EH-5T-TTC, is presented. The molecule contains two conjugated chains linked by a fused tetrathiocin core. X-ray crystallography reveals a boat conformation within the 8-membered sulfur heterocycle core and extensive π-π and intermolecular sulfur-sulfur interactions in the bulk, leading to a 2-dimensional structure. This unusual molecule has been studied as a ternary component in organic solar cell blends containing the electron donor PTB7-Th and both fullerene (PC71BM) and non-fullerene acceptors ITIC and EH-IDTBR. By incorporating EH-5T-TTC as a ternary component, the power conversion efficiency of the binary blends containing non-fullerene acceptor increases by 17% (from 7.8% to 9.2%) and by 85% for the binary blend with fullerene acceptor (from 3.3% to 6.3%). Detailed characterisation of the ternary blend systems implies that the ternary small molecule EH-5T-TTC functions differently in polymer:fullerene and polymer:non-fullerene blends and has dual functions of morphology modification and complementary spectral absorption.