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Imidazolium-Substituted Polythiophenes as Efficient Electron Transport Materials Improving Photovoltaic Performance

Authors

  • Jurgen Kesters,

    1. Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Design & Synthesis of Organic Semiconductors (DSOS), Hasselt University, Agoralaan 1–Building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
    2. Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Organic and Nanostructured Electronics & Energy Conversion (ONE2), Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 1, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
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  • Toon Ghoos,

    1. Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Design & Synthesis of Organic Semiconductors (DSOS), Hasselt University, Agoralaan 1–Building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
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  • Huguette Penxten,

    1. Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Design & Synthesis of Organic Semiconductors (DSOS), Hasselt University, Agoralaan 1–Building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
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  • Jeroen Drijkoningen,

    1. Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Organic and Nanostructured Electronics & Energy Conversion (ONE2), Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 1, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
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  • Tim Vangerven,

    1. Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Organic and Nanostructured Electronics & Energy Conversion (ONE2), Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 1, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
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  • Dani M. Lyons,

    1. Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Design & Synthesis of Organic Semiconductors (DSOS), Hasselt University, Agoralaan 1–Building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
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  • Bregt Verreet,

    1. IMEC, Kapeldreef 75, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
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  • Tom Aernouts,

    1. IMEC, Kapeldreef 75, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
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  • Laurence Lutsen,

    1. IMEC, IMOMEC, Wetenschapspark 1, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
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  • Dirk Vanderzande,

    1. Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Design & Synthesis of Organic Semiconductors (DSOS), Hasselt University, Agoralaan 1–Building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
    2. IMEC, IMOMEC, Wetenschapspark 1, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
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  • Jean Manca,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Organic and Nanostructured Electronics & Energy Conversion (ONE2), Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 1, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
    2. IMEC, IMOMEC, Wetenschapspark 1, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
    • Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Organic and Nanostructured Electronics & Energy Conversion (ONE2), Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 1, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium.
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  • Wouter Maes

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Design & Synthesis of Organic Semiconductors (DSOS), Hasselt University, Agoralaan 1–Building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
    • Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Design & Synthesis of Organic Semiconductors (DSOS), Hasselt University, Agoralaan 1–Building D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
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Abstract

In the field of polymer solar cells, improving photovoltaic performance has been the main driver over the past decade. To achieve high power conversion efficiencies, a plethora of new photoactive donor polymers and fullerene derivatives have been developed and blended together in bulk heterojunction active layers. Simultaneously, further optimization of the device architecture is also of major importance. In this respect, we report on the use of specific types of electron transport layers to boost the inherent IV properties of polymer solar cell devices, resulting in a considerable gain in overall photovoltaic output. Imidazolium-substituted polythiophenes are introduced as appealing electron transport materials, outperforming the currently available analogous conjugated polyelectrolytes, mainly by an increase in short-circuit current. The molecular weight of the ionic polythiophenes has been identified as a crucial parameter influencing performance.

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