Regioisomeric Polymer Semiconductors Based on Cyano-Functionalized Dialkoxybithiophenes: Structure–Property Relationship and Photovoltaic Performance

Qingqing Bai, Jun Huang, Han Guo, Suxiang Ma, Jie Yang, Bin Liu, Kun Yang, Huiliang Sun, Han Young Woo, Li Niu, Xugang Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cyano substitution is vital to the molecular design of polymer semiconductors toward highly efficient organic solar cells. However, how regioselectivity impacts relevant optoelectronic properties in cyano-substituted bithiophene systems remain poorly understood. Three regioisomeric cyano-functionalized dialkoxybithiophenes BTHH, BTHT, and BTTT with head-to-head, head-to-tail, and tail-to-tail linkage, respectively, were synthesized and characterized in this work. The resulting polymer semiconductors (PBDTBTs) based on these building blocks were prepared accordingly. The regiochemistry and property relationships of PBDTBTs were investigated in detail. The BTHH moiety has a higher torsional barrier than the analogs BTHT and BTTT, and the regiochemistry of dialkoxybithiophenes leads to fine modulation in the optoelectronic properties of these polymers, such as optical absorption, band gap, and energy levels of frontier molecular orbitals. Organic field-effect transistors based on PBDTBTHH had higher hole mobility (4.4 × 10−3 cm2/(V·s)) than those (ca. 10−4 cm2/(V·s)) of the other two polymer analogs. Significantly different short-circuit current densities and fill factors were obtained in polymer solar cells using PBDTBTs as the electron donors. Such difference was probed in greater detail by performing space-charge-limited current mobility, thin-film morphology, and transient photocurrent/photovoltage characterizations. The findings highlight that the BTHH unit is a promising building block for the construction of polymer donors for high-performance organic photovoltaic cells. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransactions of Tianjin University
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Cyano substitution
  • Mobility
  • Organic photovoltaic cells
  • Polymer semiconductors
  • Regioselectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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