Polymer solar cells based on poly (3-hexylthiophene) and fullerene: Pyrene acceptor systems


The replacement of widely used fullerene derivatives, e.g. [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), with unfunctionalized C60 and C70 is an effective approach to reduce the costs of organic photovoltaics. However, solubility issues of these compounds have always represented an obstacle to their use. In this study, bulk-heterojunction solar cells made of poly(3-hexylthiophene) donor polymer, C60 or C70 acceptors and a pyrene derivative (1-pyrenebutiric acid butyl ester) are reported.

Butyl 1-pyrenebutirate limits the aggregation of fullerenes and improves the active layer morphology, plausibly due to the formation of pyrene-fullerene complexes which, in the case of pyrene-C70, were also obtained in a crystalline form. Maximum power conversion efficiencies of 1.54% and 2.50% have been obtained using, respectively, C60 or C70 as acceptor.

Quantum mechanical modeling provides additional insight into the formation of plausible supermolecular structures via π-π interactions and on the redox behaviour of pyrene-fullerene systems. 


Cominetti, A., Pellegrino, A., Longo, L., Po, R., Tacca, A., Carbonera, C., Salvalaggio, M., Baldrighi, M. and Meille, S.V., 2015. Polymer solar cells based on poly (3-hexylthiophene) and fullerene: Pyrene acceptor systems. Materials Chemistry and Physics, 159, pp.46-55.

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Categories: Solar & Photovoltaics