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Keywords:

  • conducting polymers;
  • polythiophene;
  • copolymers;
  • solar cells;
  • hole transport layer

Abstract

Electrically conducting thiophene-based copolymers were synthesized by electropolymerization. The potential range used has a strong influence on the film structure and properties. The extent of oxidation of the copolymers was determined from the ratio of the oxidation to reduction charge, Qox/Qred. The use of wide potential range leads to reduced films, whereas the narrow range leads to partially oxidized films. The copolymers exhibit a characteristic band in UV–vis spectra at ∼ 410 nm, which shifts to higher wavelengths for the more doped material. The electrical conductivity of the copolymers was correlated to their morphology and their structure. The copolymer with higher conductivity is partially reduced, has compact morphology and higher ratio of quinoid to benzenoid rings. The energy gap of the copolymers is reversely proportional to their electrical conductivity. The optical and electrical properties of the copolymers make them very well suited for use as hole transport layers (HTL) in organic opto-electronic devices. We prepared polymer : fullerene solar cells with copolymer HTLs. The solar cell performance was tested with very encouraging initial results. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013