Comparing the Device Physics and Morphology of Polymer Solar Cells Employing Fullerenes and Non-Fullerene Acceptors

Jason T. Bloking, Tommaso Giovenzana, Andrew T. Higgs, Andrew J. Ponec, Eric T. Hoke, Koen Vandewal, Sangwon Ko, Zhenan Bao, Alan Sellinger, Michael D. McGehee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


There is a need to find electron acceptors for organic photovoltaics that are not based on fullerene derivatives since fullerenes have a small band gap that limits the open-circuit voltage (VOC), do not absorb strongly and are expensive. Here, a phenylimide-based acceptor molecule, 4,7-bis(4-(N-hexyl-phthalimide)vinyl)benzo[c]1,2,5-thiadiazole (HPI-BT), that can be used to make solar cells with VOC values up to 1.11 V and power conversion efficiencies up to 3.7% with two thiophene polymers is demonstrated. An internal quantum efficiency of 56%, compared to 75-90% for polymer-fullerene devices, results from less efficient separation of geminate charge pairs. While favorable energetic offsets in the polymer-fullerene devices due to the formation of a disordered mixed phase are thought to improve charge separation, the low miscibility (
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1301426
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Apr 23 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1–015–21
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank S. Himmelberger from Stanford University for his efforts in preparing field effect transistor devices from spin-coated HPI-BT films. They also thank T. Burke, K. Graham, S. Sweetnam, Z. Beiley, J. Bartelt and A. Salleo for fruitful discussions regarding the morphological model presented here. This work was supported by funds provided by the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) Award No. 1138721 and by the Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics (CAMP), Award No. KUS-C1–015–21 made by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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