A Highly Crystalline Fused-Ring n-Type Small Molecule for Non-Fullerene Acceptor Based Organic Solar Cells and Field-Effect Transistors

Xin Song, Nicola Gasparini, Masrur Morshed Nahid, Hu Chen, Sky Marie Macphee, Weimin Zhang, Victoria Norman, Chenhui Zhu, Daniel Bryant, Harald Ade, Iain McCulloch, Derya Baran

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74 Scopus citations


N-type organic small molecules (SMs) are attracting attention in the organic electronics field, due to their easy purification procedures with high yield. However, only a few reports show SMs that perform well in both organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) and organic solar cells (OSCs). Here, the synthesis and characterization of an n-type small molecule with an indacenodithieno[3,2-b]thiophene (IDTT) core unit and linear alkylated side chain (C16) (IDTTIC) are reported. Compared to the state-of-the-art n-type molecule IDTIC, IDTTIC exhibits smaller optical bandgap and higher absorption coefficient, which is due to the enhanced intramolecular effect. After mixing with the polymer donor PBDB-T, IDTIC-based solar cells deliver a power conversion efficiency of only 5.67%. In stark contrast, the OSC performance of IDTTIC improves significantly to 11.2%. It is found that the superior photovoltaic properties of PBDB-T:IDTTIC blends are mainly due to reduced trap-assisted recombination and enhanced molecular packing coherence length and higher domain purity when compared to IDTIC. Moreover, a significantly higher electron mobility of 0.50 cm2 V−1 s−1 for IDTTIC in OFET devices than for IDTIC (0.15 cm2 V−1 s−1) is obtained. These superior performances in OSCs and OFETs demonstrate that SMs with extended π-conjugation of the backbone possess a great potential for application in organic electronic devices.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1802895
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number35
StatePublished - Jul 13 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: D.B. acknowledges KAUST Solar Center Competitive Fund (CCF) for financial support. GIWAXS/R-SoXS measurements and analysis by M. M. Nahid and H. Ade were supported by ONR grant N00141512322 and KAUST's Center Partnership Fund (No. 3321). X-ray data were acquired at beamlines 7.3.3 and at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) in Berkeley National Lab, which was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-AC02-05CH11231). Z.P., S.S., and I.A. assisted with part of the R-SoXS data acquisition. C.W., C.Z., A.L.D.K., and E.S. are acknowledged for the beamline support.


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