Advancing non-fullerene acceptor (NFA) organic photovoltaics requires the mitigation of the efficiency-limiting processes. Acceptor end-group and side-chain engineering are two handles to tune properties, and a better understanding of their specific impact on the photophysics could facilitate a more guided acceptor design. Here, the device performance, energetic landscape, and photophysics of rhodanine and dicyanovinyl end-capped IDT-based NFAs, namely, O-IDTBR and O-IDTBCN, in PCE10-based solar cells are compared by transient optical and electro-optical spectroscopy techniques and density functional theory calculations. It is revealed how the acceptors’ quadrupole moments affect the interfacial energetic landscape, in turn causing differences in exciton quenching, charge dissociation efficiencies, and geminate versus non-geminate recombination losses. More precisely, it is found that the open circuit voltage (VOC) is controlled by the acceptors’ electron affinity (EA), while geminate and non-geminate recombination, and the field dependence of charge generation, rely on the acceptors’ quadrupole moments. The kinetic parameters and yields of all processes are determined, and it is demonstrated that they can reproduce the performance differences of the devices’ current–voltage characteristics in carrier drift-diffusion simulations. The results provide insight into the impact of the energetic landscape, specifically the role of the quadrupole moment of the acceptor, beyond trivial considerations of the donor–acceptor energy offsets.
KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-05-26
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2018-CARF/CCF-3079, OSR-CRG2018-3746
Acknowledgements: J.I.K. and M.A.A. contributed equally to this work. This publication is based upon work supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Award No. OSR-2018-CARF/CCF-3079 and Award No. OSR-CRG2018-3746. D.A. acknowledges funding from the BMBF grant InterPhase and MESOMERIE (FKZ 13N13661, FKZ 13N13656) and the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation program “Widening materials models” under Grant Agreement No. 646259 (MOSTOPHOS). D.A. also acknowledges the KAUST PSE Division for hosting his sabbatical in the framework of the Division's Visiting Faculty program. A.M. acknowledges funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 844655 (SMOLAC). J.I.K. and F.L. thank R. Lohmann and D. Gottlieb for their contributions to the development of the EL spectroscopy setup.
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Materials Science(all)