Impact of Nonfullerene Acceptor Core Structure on the Photophysics and Efficiency of Polymer Solar Cells

Maha A. Alamoudi, Jafar I. Khan, Yuliar Firdaus, Kai Wang, Denis Andrienko, Pierre M. Beaujuge, Frédéric Laquai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Small-molecule "nonfullerene" acceptors are promising alternatives to fullerene (PC61/71BM) derivatives often used in bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic solar cells; yet, the efficiency-limiting processes and their dependence on the acceptor structure are not clearly understood. Here, we investigate the impact of the acceptor core structure (cyclopenta-[2,1-b:3,4-b′]dithiophene (CDT) versus indacenodithiophene (IDTT)) of malononitrile (BM)-terminated acceptors, namely CDTBM and IDTTBM, on the photophysical characteristics of BHJ solar cells. Using PCE10 as donor polymer, the IDTT-based acceptor achieves power conversion efficiencies (8.4%) that are higher than those of the CDT-based acceptor (5.6%) because of a concurrent increase in short-circuit current and open-circuit voltage. Using (ultra)fast transient spectroscopy we demonstrate that reduced geminate recombination in PCE10:IDTTBM blends is the reason for the difference in short-circuit currents. External quantum efficiency measurements indicate that the higher energy of interfacial charge-transfer states observed for the IDTT-based acceptor blends is the origin of the higher open-circuit voltage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-811
Number of pages10
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 13 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry


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