Quinacridone-based molecular donors for solution processed bulk-heterojunction organic solar cells

John Jun An Chen, Teresa L. Chen, Bongsoo Kim, Daniel A. Poulsen, Justin L. Mynar, Jean M.J. Fréchet, Biwu Ma

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    80 Scopus citations


    New soluble quinacridone-based molecules have been developed as electron donor materials for solution-processed organic solar cells. By functionalizing the pristine pigment core of quinacridone with solubilizing alkyl chains and light absorbing/charge transporting thiophene units, i.e., bithiophene (BT) and thienylbenzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazolethienyl (BTD), we prepared a series of multifunctional quinacridone-based molecules. These molecular donors show intense absorption in the visible spectral region, and the absorption range and intensity are well-tuned by the interaction between the quinacridone core and the incorporated thiophene units. The thin film absorption edge extends with the expansion of molecular conjugation, i.e., 552 nm for N,N'-di(2-ethylhexyl) quinacridone (QA), 592 nm for 2,9-Bis(5'-hexyl-2,2'-bithiophene)-N,N'-di(2- ethylhexyl)quinacridone (QA-BT), and 637 nm for 4-(5-hexylthiophen-2-yl)-7- (thiophen-2-yl)benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole (QA-BTD). The change of molecular structure also influences the electrochemical properties. Observed from cyclic voltammetry measurements, the oxidation and reduction potentials (vs ferrocene) are 0.7 and -1.83 V for QA, 0.54 and -1.76 V for QA-BT, and 0.45 and -1.68 V for QA-BTD. Uniform thin films can be generated from both single component molecular solutions and blend solutions of these molecules with [6,6]-phenyl C70-butyric acid methyl ester (PC70BM). The blend films exhibit space-charge limited current (SCLC) hole mobilities on the order of 1 × 10-4 cm2 V-1 S-1. Bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells using these soluble molecules as donors and PC70BM as the acceptor were fabricated. Power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of up to 2.22% under AM 1.5 G simulated 1 sun solar illumination have been achieved and external quantum efficiencies (EQEs) reach as high as ∼45%.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2679-2686
    Number of pages8
    JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - Sep 22 2010


    • bulk heterojunction
    • molecular donors
    • organic solar cells
    • pigments
    • quinacridones

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Materials Science


    Dive into the research topics of 'Quinacridone-based molecular donors for solution processed bulk-heterojunction organic solar cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this