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Keywords:

  • conjugated polymers;
  • ethynylene unit;
  • morphology;
  • phase separation;
  • polycondensation;
  • polymer solar cells;
  • synthesis;
  • UV-vis spectroscopy

Abstract

Four ethynylene-containing donor-acceptor alternating conjugated polymers P1P4 with 2,5-bis(dodecyloxy) substituted phenylene or carbazole as the donor unit and benzothiadiazole (BTZ) as the acceptor unit were synthesized and used as donor polymers in bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells. The optical, electrochemical, and photovoltaic properties of these four polymers with the ethylene unit located at different positions of the polymer chains were systematically investigated. Our results demonstrated that absorption spectra and the HOMO and LUMO energy levels of polymers could be tuned by varying the position of the ethynylene unit in the polymer chains. Photovoltaic devices based on polymer/PC71BM blend films spin coated from chloroform and dichlorobenzene solutions were investigated. For all four polymers, open circuit voltages (Voc) higher than 0.8 V were obtained. P4, with ethynylene unit between BTZ and thiophene, shows the best performance among these four polymers, with a Voc of 0.94 V, a Jsc of 4.2 mA/cm2, an FF of 0.40, and a PCE of 1.6%. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2013