• dithieno[3,2-b:2′,3′-d]thiophene;
  • narrow-bandgap polymers;
  • polymer solar cells
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Three novel dithieno[3,2-b:2′,3′-d]thiophene-based low-bandgap polymers are synthesized by a Suzuki–Miyaura coupling reaction or by direct arylation polycondensation. The polymers present a high molecular weight (26–32 kDa) and narrow polydiversity (1.3–1.7). With a highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) energy level around −5.20 eV, these polymers exhibit a narrow bandgap of 1.75–1.87 eV. All the polymers display strong absorption in the range of 350–700 nm. Bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells are further fabricated by blending the as-prepared polymer with (6,6)-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC61BM) at different weight ratios. The best devices contribute a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 0.73% under AM 1.5 (100 mW cm−2).