Donor-Fullerene Dyads for Energy Cascade Organic Solar Cells

Cowart Jr., J. S., Liman, C., Garnica, A., Page, Z. A., Lim, E., Zope, R. R., Baruah, T., Hawker, C. J., Chabinyc, M. L.
Inorganica Chimica Acta
Advance Article

Organic bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells require broad absorption of the incident solar spectrum by the donor and acceptor in the blend. Fullerene derivatives with covalently linked dyes, referred to as dyads, were designed to have strong optical absorption and appropriate electronic levels for electron transfer with common donor polymers in BHJs. Dyads with dyes based on diketopyrrolopyrrole and benzothiadiazole were synthesized using either a methanofullerene or a fulleropyrrolidine linkage. The performance of these dyad acceptors in BHJ solar cells with poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and a low optical gap co-polymer of thiophene and diketopyrrolopyrrole (PDPP2FT) were examined. Although the solar power conversion efficiencies were low, charge generation from the molecular dye in the dyad could be observed in BHJs with PDPP2FT. The low power conversion efficiency was attributed to the morphology of the BHJs based on grazing incidence wide angle X-ray scattering patterns. Density functional theory was used to examine the charge transfer states between the donor and the dyad. The lowest energy charge-transfer state was found to be a transition from the donor polymer to the fullerene portion of the dyad.