An effective strategy to enhance the dielectric constant of organic semiconductors - CPDTTPD-based low bandgap polymers bearing oligo(ethylene glycol) side chains

Jeroen Brebels, Evgenia Douvogianni, Dries Devisscher, Raghavendran Thiruvallur Eachambadi, Jean Manca, Laurence Lutsen, Dirk Vanderzande, Jan C. Hummelen, Wouter Maes

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17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conjugated polymers applied in organic electronics (notably photovoltaics and photodetectors) generally exhibit relatively low dielectric constants (epsilon(r) 3-4), which leads to significant recombination losses of photo-generated excitons. As a direct consequence, the performance of the resulting devices is inherently restricted. Some efforts have been directed toward increasing epsilon(r) of the photoactive organic compounds, but the general knowledge on the impact of specific structural variations on the dielectric constant and the final device output remains rather limited. In this study, this problem is addressed. A series of push-pull type alternating copolymers is synthesized based on 4H-cyclopenta[2,1-b:3,4-b']dithiophene (CPDT) and 4H-thieno[3,4-c]pyrrole-4,6(5H)-dione (TPD) subunits, with the aim to increase the dielectric constant using oligo(ethylene glycol) side chains. The amount of glycol substituents on the polymer backbone is gradually raised to systematically investigate its influence on the dielectric properties. Impedance measurements reveal a doubling of the dielectric constant (up to epsilon(r) 6.3) with respect to the reference polymer. Upon applying these materials in bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells, an efficiency of 4.4% is obtained for the best-performing device, with a particularly higher short-circuit current and improved fill factor compared to the pristine alkyl-substituted polymer. Importantly, a non-halogenated solvent - beneficial toward 'green' processing - can also be applied for the active layer deposition, affording comparable results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-511
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry C
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21-Jan-2018

Keywords

  • HETEROJUNCTION SOLAR-CELLS
  • CHARGE-CARRIER MOBILITY
  • OPEN-CIRCUIT VOLTAGE
  • CONJUGATED POLYMERS
  • MOLECULAR DESIGN
  • PHOTOVOLTAICS
  • PERFORMANCE
  • DERIVATIVES
  • EFFICIENCY
  • COPOLYMER

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