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C9.05 - Side-Chain Tunability via Triple Component Random Copolymerization for Better Photovoltaic Polymers 
April 23, 2014   3:30pm - 4:00pm

Polymer-based photovoltaic devices provide an opportunity to generate energy from light at a low cost. Great efforts have been made in designing polymers with different bandgaps and several state-of-the-art polymers of bandgap around 1.4-1.8 eV have been developed successfully. However, compared to the theoretical limit of each given bandgap, there is still a plenty of room for improvement. Instead of spending more effort on bandgap engineering, herein we turn to focus on improving an existing polymer through side-chain optimization, which has not drawn much attention so far. Through a triple component random copolymerization approach, the amount of triethylene glycol (TEG) side-chain, which can be regarded as a stack-inducing agent, can be introduced precisely into a given polymer backbone. TEG side-chains result in a more favorable morphology in a polymer:PC71BM blend. Based on low-bandgap PBDTT-DPP (PBD) photovoltaic polymer system, this methodology can bring an overall 10% improvement in power conversion efficiency (PCE). A cell constructed by newly synthesized PBDTEG10 shows both higher JSC and FF% than its PBD analogue with VOC nearly maintained, resulting in 7.0% PCE. We demonstrate that the current methodology provides an easy and effective way for fine-tuning the polymers’ aggregation properties as well as their solar cell performance when blended with PC71BM. We further anticipate this approach can be applied to other polymer systems in the future.

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Keynote Address
Panel Discussion - Different Approaches to Commercializing Materials Research
Business Challenges to Starting a Materials-Based Company
Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience
Application of In-situ X-ray Absorption, Emission and Powder Diffraction Studies in Nanomaterials Research - From the Design of an In-situ Experiment to Data Analysis