Effects of Fluorination on Fused Ring Electron Acceptor for Active Layer Morphology, Exciton Dissociation, and Charge Recombination in Organic Solar Cells

Licheng Hou, Jie Lv, Friso Wobben, Vincent M. Le Corre, Hua Tang, Ranbir Singh, Min Kim, Fufang Wang, Haitao Sun, Wenjing Chen, Zhengguo Xiao, Manish Kumar, Tongle Xu, Weimin Zhang, Iain McCulloch, Tainan Duan, Huling Xie, L. Jan Anton Koster, Shirong Lu*, Zhipeng Kan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Fluorination is one of the effective approaches to alter the organic semiconductor properties that impact the performance of the organic solar cells (OSCs). Positive effects of fluorination are also revealed in the application of fused ring electron acceptors (FREAs). However, in comparison with the efforts allocated to the material designs and power conversion efficiency enhancement, understanding on the excitons and charge carriers' behaviors in high-performing OSCs containing FREAs is limited. Herein, the impact of fluorine substituents on the active layer morphology, and therefore exciton dissociation, charge separation, and charge carriers' recombination processes are examined by fabricating OSCs with PTO2 as the donor and two FREAs, O-IDTT-IC and its fluorinated analogue O-IDTT-4FIC, as the acceptors. With the presence of O-IDTT-4FIC in the devices, it is found that the excitons dissociate more efficiently, and the activation energy required to split the excitons to free charge carriers is much lower; the charge carriers live longer and suffer less extent of trap-assisted recombination; the trap density is 1 order of magnitude lower than that of the nonfluorinated counterpart. Overall, these findings provide information about the complex impacts of FREA fluorination on efficiently performed OSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56231-56239
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 16-Dec-2020


  • fluorination
  • exciton dissociations
  • activation energy
  • trap assisted recombination
  • crystallinity

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