Synthesis and characterization of polythiophene block copolymer and fullerene derivative capable of “three-point” complementary hydrogen bonding interactions and their application in bulk-heterojunction solar cells


Correspondence to: Y. Qin (Email:


We report the synthesis and characterization of a polythiophene block copolymer (P4) selectively functionalized with diaminopyrimidine moieties and a thymine tethered fullerene derivative (F1). Self-assembly between P4 and F1 through “three-point” complementary hydrogen bonding is studied by 1H NMR spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. A large Stern-Volmer constant (KSV) of 1.2 × 105 M−1 is observed from fluorescence quenching experiments, revealing strong complexation between these two components. Solar cells employing P4 and F1 at different weight ratios as active layers are fabricated and tested; corresponding thin film morphologies are studied in detail by optical imaging and atomic force microscopy. Correlations between polymer complex structures, film morphologies, and device performance are discussed. Thermal stability of benchmark poly(3-hexylthiophene) bulk heterojunction solar cells is found to be improved by the addition of a few weight percent of P4/F1 complexes as compatibilizers. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2013, 51, 3339–3350