UV-Cross-linkable Donor-Acceptor Polymers Bearing a Photostable Conjugated Backbone for Efficient and Stable Organic Photovoltaics

Si Cheng Wu, Lisa T. Strover, Xiang Yao, Xue Qiang Chen, Wen Jing Xiao, Li Na Liu, Jiandong Wang, Iris Visoly-Fisher, Eugene A. Katz, Wei Shi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


High-performance photovoltaic polymers bearing cross-linkable function together with a photorobust conjugated backbone are highly desirable for organic solar cells to achieve both high device efficiency and long-term stability. In this study, a family of such polymers is reported based on poly[(2,5-bis(2-hexyldecyloxy)phenylene)-alt-(5,6-difluoro-4,7-di(thiophen-2-yl)benzo[c]-[1,2,5]thiadiazole)] (PPDT2FBT), a high-performance photovoltaic donor-acceptor polymer, with different contents of terminal vinyl-appended side chains for cross-linking. The polymers were named PPDT2FBT-V x and prepared by varying the feeding ratio (x mol %, x = 0, 5, 10, and 15) of the vinyl-appended monomer in polymerization. It was found that the vinyl integration did not sacrifice the original high photovoltaic performance of the polymers, as evidenced by comparable average power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) (6.95, 7.02, and 7.63%) observed for optimized devices based on PPDT2FBT-V 0 , PPDT2FBT-V 5 , and PPDT2FBT-V 10 , respectively, in blending with [6,6]-phenyl-C 71 -butyric acid methyl ester (PC 71 BM). Unlike thermal cross-linking that greatly reduced device efficiency, UV cross-linking has proven to be an effective way to achieve both high device efficiency and thermostability for PPDT2FBT-V 10 solar cells. UV-cross-linked PPDT2FBT-V 10 solar cells displayed an initial average PCE of 5.28% and almost no decrease upon heat treatment at 120 °C for 40 h. Morphology studies revealed that UV-cross-linking did not only alter initial nanophase separation but also suppressed morphology evolution by aggregation in bulk heterojunction blend films. Photo-cross-linking requires material photostability. It is therefore worthwhile to note that these polymers and their blends with PC 71 BM were found to be extremely photostable, even upon continuous exposure to concentrated sunlight (up to 200 suns), and UV-cross-linking does not hamper this photostability. Further studies found that the devices fabricated with the UV-cross-linked PPDT2FBT-V 10 /PC 71 BM active layer can endure continuous light exposure to a solar simulator without deteriorating their performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35430-35440
Number of pages11
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number41
StatePublished - 17 Oct 2018


  • concentrated sunlight
  • crosslinkable D-A copolymers
  • organic photovoltaics
  • photostability
  • thermal stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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