Plastic Solar Cells Based on Fluorenone-Containing Oligomers and Regioregular Alternate Copolymers


  • The authors thank Dr. L Sicot for his assistance in the measurements of the IPCE characteristics of the photovoltaic cells and Dr. C. Sentein and Dr. J. P. Travers for helpful discussions. This work was supported by the ADEME and CEA (Convention de Recherche No. 0105148) through the CSPVP “Cellules Solaires Photovoltaïques Plastiques” research program.


Oligomers and regioregular copolymers based on fluorenone subunits are synthesized and used in bulk-heterojunction photovoltaic cells. These are 2,7-bis(5-[(E)-1,2-bis(3-octylthien-2-yl)ethylene])-fluoren-9-one (TVF), the product of its oxidative polymerization, that is, (poly[(5,5′-(bis-(E)-1,2-bis(3-octylthien-2-yl)ethylene]-alt-(2,7-fluoren-9-one)]) (PTVF), and an alternate copolymer of fluoren-9-one and di-n-alkylbithiophene, namely poly[(5,5′-(3,3′-di-n-octyl-2,2′-bithiophene))-alt-(2,7-fluoren-9-one)] (PDOBTF). The interpenetrating networks of active layers consisting of these new compounds as electron donors and of methanofullerene [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) as an acceptor exhibit an extended absorption band in the visible part of the spectrum with an absorption edge close to 700 nm. The external power conversion efficiencies (EPCEs) and the external quantum efficiency of the various TVF-, PTVF-, and PDOBTF-based photovoltaic cells have been determined. EPCE values of up to 1 % have been achieved, which demonstrate the potential of fluorenone-based materials in solar cells. It has also been demonstrated that fluorenone subunits are efficient photon absorbers for the conversion. Interestingly, some cell parameters such as, for example, the fill factor, have been improved as compared to photovoltaic cells with a “classical” poly[2-methoxy-5-(3′,7′-dimethyloctyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene]/PCBM active layer, fabricated and studied under the same experimental conditions.