• polymer solar cells;
  • tandem solar cells;
  • side chain effects;
  • coplanarity;
  • solvent additives


A series of polymers containing benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene and N-alkylthieno[3,4-c]pyrrole-4,6-dione are designed. By incorporating different alkylthienyl side chains, the fill factor (FF) and open circuit voltage (Voc) of the copolymers are further improved. The experimental results and theoretical calculations show that the size and topology of the side chains can influence the polymer solubility, energy levels, and intermolecular packing by altering the molecular coplanarity. As a result of improved morphology and fine-tuned energy levels, an increased FF and a high Voc of 1.00 V are achieved, as well as a power conversion efficiency of 6.17%, which is the highest efficiency ever reported for polymer solar cells with a Voc over 1 V.