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A donor polymer based on 3-cyanothiophene with superior batch-to-batch reproducibility for high-efficiency organic solar cells
Energy & Environmental Science  (IF38.532),  Pub Date : 2021-08-25, DOI: 10.1039/d1ee01957k
Xiyue Yuan, Yunli Zhao, Tao Zhan, Jiyeon Oh, Jiadong Zhou, Junyu Li, Xiaojing Wang, Zhiqiang Wang, Shuting Pang, Ping Cai, Changduk Yang, Zhicai He, Zengqi Xie, Chunhui Duan, Fei Huang, Yong Cao

The realization of high-efficiency organic solar cells (OSCs) relies largely on donor polymers. However, high-performance donor polymers are limited to a handful of building blocks, which usually suffer from lengthy synthesis and high production cost. Moreover, most donor polymers exhibited strong batch-to-batch variation. Herein, we report a new building block, 3-cyanothiophene (CT), which features a very simple asymmetric structure and facile synthesis. The donor polymer (PBCT-2F) based on the CT unit realized a remarkable power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 17.1%. More importantly, PBCT-2F exhibited excellent batch-to-batch reproducibility. The six polymer batches with molecular weights ranging from 18 to 74 kDa produced very similar PCEs: 15.9–17.1% and 12.7–13.2% when the polymer was blended with Y6 and IT-4F, respectively. These results suggest the great potential of PBCT-2F for industrial synthesis and large-scale manufacturing of OSC modules. This work also demonstrates the bright future of CT units for constructing high-performance donor polymers.