Thieno[3,4- c ]pyrrole-4,6-dione-based donor - Acceptor conjugated polymers for solar cells

Xugang Guo, Hao Xin, Felix Sunjoo Kim, Arawwawala D.T. Liyanage, Samson A. Jenekhe, Mark D. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Three new donor - acceptor conjugated polymers incorporating thieno[3,4-c]pyrrole-4,6-dione (TPD) acceptor and dialkoxybithiophene or cyclopentadithiophene units as donor have been synthesized and explored in bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells and organic field-effect transistors (OFETs). The TPD-containing polymers had optical band gaps of 1.50 - 1.70 eV and HOMO levels of - 4.85 to - 5.26 eV. The highly electron-rich character of dialkoxybithiophene in P1 and P2 destabilizes their HOMOs which significantly affects the photovoltaic efficiency. However, polymer P3 containing cyclopentadithiophene donor units results in a deeper HOMO level of - 5.26 eV. The field-effect mobility of holes varied from 2 × 10-4 cm 2/(V s) in P2 to ∼ × 10-2 cm2/(V s) in P3-based transistors. BHJ solar cells using polymer P1 or P2 as the electron donor and (6,6)-phenyl-C71-butyric acid ester (PC71BM) as the electron acceptor exhibit low open circuit voltages (Voc = 0.40 - 0.60 V) and power conversion efficiencies below 1.5%. However, BHJ solar cells based on the TPD - cyclopentadithiophene copolymer (P3) achieved a high V oc of ∼0.8 V and power conversation efficiency greater than 3%. These results demonstrate the tuning of the open circuit voltage and thus the photovoltaic efficiency of BHJ solar cells based on copolymers containing thieno[3,4-c]pyrrole-4,6-dione acceptor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 25 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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