Synthesis and characterization of benzodithiophene- and quinoxalinedithienothiophene-based semiconducting materials for organic solar cells

  • Lanqi Huang

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Organic semiconducting materials have been attracted considerable attention as a promising technology for the next generation flexible electronic devices, such as solar cells and field-effect transistors because of their advantages of low-cost, structural versatility and flexibility. Many organic semiconducting materials have been developed in recent years. In this thesis, four pi-conjugated building blocks based on benzodithiophene and quinoxalinedithienothiophene were applied to develop novel photovoltaic materials, including donor-acceptor alternating copolymers as a donor material for polymer solar cells, photosensitizers for dye sensitized solar cells, small molecule hole transporting materials for perovskite solar cells and small molecule acceptors for organic solar cells. A comprehensive review of current development of organic photovoltaic materials was presented in Chapter 1. In Chapter 2, a series of D-A copolymers (PBB-n) based on 4,7-di(thiophen-2-yl)benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole and 4,5-bis((2-ethylhexyl)oxy)benzo[2,1-b:3,4-b'] dithiophene attached with different solubilizing side-chains were designed, synthesised and characterized. In general, PBB-n polymers showed good absorption in the region of visible light and UV region, indicating such polymers are a promising light harvester. Also, PBB-n exhibited suitable energy levels, suggesting that they could be applied as the donor materials in polymer solar cells. PBB-n also exhibited various extent of aggregation behaviour. Chapter 3 described syntheses and the fluorination effect of two series of fluoro-substituted PBB-n copolymers, namely PfBB-n and PffBB-n on optical, electrochemical, and optoelectronic properties. Among them, PfBB-n series was characterized with photovoltaic performance. The champion devices fabricated from PfBB-12 showed a PCE as high as 9.7%, with a Voc of 0.92 V, a Jsc of 16.60 mA/cm-2 and a FF of 63.49%. Cells fabricated from other PfBB-n copolymers also exhibited good PV performance with PCE ranging from 7.4 - 8.5%. For PffBB-n polymers, temperature-dependent aggregation behaviour was exploited by modulating the coating temperature during device fabrication. PSC devices based on PffBB-n exhibited good PV performance with PCE ranging from 7.4% to 9.9%. Among which, PffBB-14 provided the most promising PV performance with PCE of 9.9%, a Voc of 0.92 V, a Jsc of 16.8 mA/cm-2 and a FF of 64.36%. Electron deficient conjugated structure was seldom used as the π-bridge in metal-free photosensitizers. In Chapter 4, four novel organic photosensitizers, namely QC5-m and PC5-n were designed with an electron deficient π-bridge. Typical sandwich-structured DSSCs based on the newly developed photosensitizers exhibited promising photovoltaic performance with PCE ranging from 5.23 - 7.77 %, with a maximum Jsc as high as 15.63 mA cm-2. These results suggest that the use of electron deficient π-bridge provides alternative approach to construct efficient organic photosensitizers. Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 described the design, synthesis and investigation of novel hole-transporting materials and electron acceptor materials based on benzo[2,1-b:3,4-b']dithiophene-4,5-dione derived building blocks as potential organic photovoltaic materials for solar cell applications. Keywords: organic photovoltaic materials, photosensitizers, polymer solar cell, electron acceptor, hole-transporting materials.

Date of Award25 Mar 2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorRicky M S WONG (Supervisor)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Electrophiles
  • Materials
  • Photosensitizing compounds
  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Solar cells
  • Synthesis.

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