Trimerized small-molecule acceptors enable high-performance organic solar cells with high open-circuit voltage and prolonged life-time

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Although the recent development of Y-series small-molecule acceptors (SMAs) has led to a dramatic increase in the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of organic solar cells (OSCs), the operational stability (device lifetime) of OSCs is inadequate for commercialization. In this study, we develop a new trimer acceptor (TYT), consisting of three Y-based molecules linked by electron-donating spacers, to realize an OSC with high-performance (PCE > 18%) and -stability (t80% lifetime > 8000 h under 1 sun illumination, in which t80% lifetime is the time required for the PCE of the OSC to reach 80% of its initial value). We demonstrate that the trimerization approach affords an acceptor, TYT, with an upshifted lowest unoccupied molecular orbital energy level, which, in turn, affords an efficient OSC with a high open-circuit voltage (0.964 V). In addition, the glass-transition temperature (Tg) of TYT (217 °C) is significantly higher than those of monomer (MYT, Tg = 80 °C) and dimer (DYT, Tg = 127 °C) acceptors, which effectively suppresses the molecular diffusion of TYT in a blend film with a polymer donor. Accordingly, a TYT-based OSC demonstrates a high PCE (18.2%) and long t80% lifetime under 1 sun illumination (8454 h), outperforming MYT- and DYT-based OSCs that exhibit PCEs and t80% lifetimes of 16.4% and 35 h, and 17.3% and 2551 h, respectively. Therefore, this study provides important guidelines for the design of electron acceptors in achieving OSCs with high performance and stability close to a commercial level.
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ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, v.16, no.8, pp.3339 - 3349

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CBE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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