Design of UV-Absorbing Donor Molecules for Nearly Imperceptible Organic Solar Cells

Melissa L. Ball, Quinn Burlingame, Hannah L. Smith, Tianran Liu, Sean R. Parkin, Antoine Kahn, Yueh Lin Loo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Transparent photovoltaic cells are an emerging technology that can provide point-of-use electricity generation for building-integrated applications. While most transparent solar cells to date target absorption of the photon-rich near-infrared portion of the solar spectrum, these devices compromise color neutrality and transparency because of parasitic absorption of long-wavelength visible light. One solution to eliminate parasitic absorption is to employ materials that absorb near-ultraviolet light with sharper absorption cutoffs. Herein, we demonstrate organic donor materials based on N,N′-diaryl-diamines that incorporate a series of aryl linkers to systematically tune their absorption profiles. When paired with acceptor 4,6-bis(3,5-di-4-pyridinylphenyl)-2-methylpyrimidine in an inverted architecture with an indium tin oxide top electrode and an organic optical outcoupling layer, the three best-performing transparent solar cells exhibit average photopic-response-weighted transmittances of 80.3-82.0% and color-rendering indices of 95.0-97.1, both of which are records for organic photovoltaics, with power-conversion efficiencies of 0.43-0.70%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-188
Number of pages9
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 14 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Q.B. thanks the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation for funding this work. M.L.B. is grateful for funding from Princeton’s Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Surface characterization work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship DGE-1656466 (H.L.S) and by a National Science Foundation grant DMR-1807797 (H.L.S and A.K.). The authors thank Jordan T. Dull for assistance with sublimation purification, Dr. Xiaoming Zhao for his help with SCLC, Dr. Jeni Sorli for her assistance with GIWAXS analysis, Dr. István Pelczer for his helpful input with the 2D NMR spectra for BF-DP N , and Dr. Xiao Liu for helpful discussions over the course of the project. The authors acknowledge the use of Princeton’s Imaging and Analysis Center, which is partially supported through the Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM), a National Science Foundation (NSF)-MRSEC program (DMR-2011750).

Publisher Copyright:

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry


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