Kim JS, Fei Z, Wood S,
Germanium- and Silicon-Substituted Donor–Acceptor Type Copolymers: Effect of the Bridging Heteroatom on Molecular Packing and Photovoltaic Device Performance, Advanced Energy Materials
The effects of heteroatom substitution from a silicon atom to a germanium atom in donor-acceptor type low band gap copolymers, poly[(4,4′-bis(2-ethylhexyl)dithieno[3,2-b:2′,3′-d]silole)-2,6-diyl-alt-(2,1,3-benzothiadiazole)-4,7-diyl] (PSiBTBT) and poly[(4,4′-bis(2-ethylhexyl)dithieno[3,2-b:2′,3′-d]germole)-2,6-diyl-alt-(2,1,3-benzothiadiazole)-4,7-diyl] (PGeBTBT), are studied. The optoelectronic and charge transport properties of these polymers are investigated with a particular focus on their use for organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices in blends with phenyl-C70-butyric acid methyl ester (PC70BM). It is found that the longer C-Ge bond length, in comparison to C-Si, modifies the molecular conformation and leads to a more planar chain conformation in PGeBTBT than PSiBTBT. This increase in molecular planarity leads to enhanced crystallinity and an increased preference for a face-on backbone orientation, thus leading to higher charge carrier mobility in the diode configuration. These results provide important insight into the impact of the heavy atom substitution on the molecular packing and device performance of polymers based on the poly[2,6-(4,4-bis-(2-ethylhexyl)-4H-cyclopenta[2,1-b;3,4-b]-dithiophene)-alt-4,7-(2,1,3-benzothiadiazole) (PCPDTBT) backbone.