Influence of Alkyl Substitution Position on Wide-Bandgap Polymers in High-Efficiency Nonfullerene Polymer Solar Cells

Qing Guo, Wanbin Li, Guangda Li, Kun Wang, Xia Guo, Maojie Zhang, Yongfang Li, Wai Yeung Wong (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Two wide-bandgap (WBG) conjugated polymers (PBPD-p and PBPD-m) based on phenyl-substituted benzodithiophene (BDT) with the different substitution position of the alkyl side chain and benzodithiophene-4,8-dione (BDD) units are designed and synthesized to investigate the influence of alkyl substitution position on the photovoltaic performance of polymers in polymer solar cells (PSCs). The thermogravimetric analysis, absorption spectroscopy, molecular energy level, X-ray diffraction, charge transport and photovoltaic performance of the polymers are systematically studied. Compared with PBPD-p, PBPD-m exhibits a slight blue-shift but a deeper highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) energy level, a tighter alkyl chain packing and a higher hole mobility. The PBPD-m-based PSCs blended with acceptor IT-4F shows a higher power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 11.95% with a high open-circuit voltage (Voc) of 0.88 V, a short-circuit current density (Jsc) of 19.76 mA cm−2 and a fill factor (FF) of 68.7% when compared with the PCE of 6.97% with a Voc of 0.81 V, a Jsc of 15.97 mA cm−2 and an FF of 53.9% for PBPD-p. These results suggest that it is a feasible and effective strategy to optimize photovoltaic properties of WBG polymers by changing the substitution position of alkyl side chain in PSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000170
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • alkyl side chains
  • benzodithiophene-4,8-dione
  • nonfullerene polymer solar cells
  • substitution positions
  • wide bandgap polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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