Soluble n-type pentacene derivatives as novel acceptors for organic solar cells

Yee Fun Lim, Ying Shu, Sean R. Parkin, John E. Anthony, George G. Malliaras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


6,13-Bis(triisopropylsilylethynyl) (TIPS)-pentacene has proven to be a promising soluble p-type material for organic thin film transistors as well as for photovoltaics. In this work, we show that adding electron-withdrawing nitrile functional groups to TIPS-pentacene turns it into an n-type material, which can be used as an acceptor for organic solar cells. Several new cyanopentacenes with different trialkylsilyl functional groups have been synthesized. The HOMO-LUMO energy levels can be tuned by varying the number of nitrile groups, while the trialkylsilyl groups control crystal packing and film morphology. Solar cells were fabricated from a blend of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) as the donor and the cyanopentacenes as acceptors, and we found that the acceptors that stack in a 1D "sandwich-herringbone" exhibited the best performance of derivatives in this study. A solar cell fabricated from a blend of P3HT and 2,3-dicyano-6,13-bis-(tricyclopentylsilylethynyl)pentacene (2,3-CN2-TCPS-Pn) exhibited a power conversion efficiency of 0.43% under 100 mW cm-2 AM 1.5 illumination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3049-3056
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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