SCIENTIA SINICA Chimica, Volume 48, Issue 8: 815-828(2018) https://doi.org/10.1360/N032018-00067

Research progress in high efficiency thick film polymer solar cells

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  • ReceivedMar 30, 2018
  • AcceptedMay 11, 2018
  • PublishedJul 13, 2018


Polymer solar cells (PSCs) are considered as the most promising third-generation photovoltaic technology in the future due to their advantages such as light weight, thin film and flexibility. Nowadays, the power conversion efficiencies (PCE) of PSCs have pasted 13%, laying the foundation for their fab-scale production. To realize the scalable fabrication of PSCs, the key issue is developing high efficiency thick film PSCs compatibility to the roll-to-roll (R2R) printing process. In this article, different kinds of high efficiency thick film PSCs including fullerene PSCs, non-fullerene PSCs and ternary PSCs are reviewed according to the recent research progress. The relevant research works on the molecular design of donor and acceptor materials, morphology of photoactive layers, fabrication method and mechanism of solar cells devices are discussed. And the future prospect of the research on thick film PSCs is presented.

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  • Figure 1

    The molecular structures of donor polymers: (a) BDT-ffBX-DT, (b) PBTIBDTT, (c) NT812, (d) PNTT, (e) PBTI3T-S and (f) PPDT2FBT [1318].

  • Figure 2

    (a) The molecular structures of polymer C10-Th100 and Cn-Th00. GIXD fitting analysis of (b) (100) crystal packing distance and coherence length, and (c) π-stacking crystal packing distance and coherence length for pure C10-Thx films [21] (color online).

  • Figure 3

    (a) The molecular structures of the random polymers. (b–e) Optical microscopy (OM) and (f–i) transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of (b, f) FBT-Th4, (c, g) PDT2fBT-BT10, (d, h) PDT2fBT-BT20, and (e, i) PDT2fBT-BT30. (j) PCE histogram of 1 cm2 solar cells obtained from nine positions using a 0.2 cm2 shadow mask. (k) Evolution of the PCEs with the active layer thickness of the solar cells [25] (color online).

  • Figure 4

    (a) Chemical structure of PBTIBDTT-S. (b) Device efficiencies of PSCs with different Mns as a function of thickness of active layer. (c–f) TEM images of optimal PBTIBDTT-S:PC71BM blend films with different Mns [27] (color online).

  • Figure 5

    (a) Chemical structures of components of the active layer including the donor polymer DT-PDPP2T-TT (P2), the fullerene acceptor PC71BM and the solvent additive DPE. (b) Device structure of solar cells based on P2:PC71BM. EDS S mapping of optimum devices prepared from (c) CF:DCB, (d) CB, and (e) CB:DPE, respectively. Scale bar is 100 nm. (f) Chemical structure of the donor polymer P4TNTz-2F. TM-AFM (g) topography images and (h) phase images of P4TNTz-2F based blend films [34,36] (color online).

  • Figure 6

    (a) Chemical structures of the donor polymers PffBT4T-2OD, PBTff4T-2OD and PNT4T-2OD. (b) (010) diffraction peak (obtained from XRD) of PffBT4T-2OD pure films spun at different rates. (c) UV-vis absorption spectra of PffBT4T-2OD:PC61PM blend films obtained with different spin rates and substrate temperatures [37] (color online).

  • Figure 7

    Non-fullerene small molecule acceptors for efficient thick film non-fullerene polymer solar cells: (a) ITIC, (b) IDIC, (c) m-ITIC, (d) IDT-OB, (e) FOIC and (f) IT-4F [4145].

  • Figure 8

    Chemical structures of donor polymers for efficient thick film non-fullerene polymer solar cells: (a) PTzBI, (b) PTZ1, (c) PM6, (d) PTQ10, (e) J61 and (f) PBDB-T [4649].

  • Figure 9

    (a) FTPS data of P3HT:IDTBR and P3HT:PCBM devices. (b) Schematic of the different molecular interaction of P3HT with fullerene and IDTBR acceptors [50] (color online).

  • Figure 10

    (a) The chemical structures of PTB7-Th, p-DTS(FBTTH2)2, and PC71BM. (b) Schematics of the binary system and ternary system. (c) OSC modules fabricated with slot-die coating. (d) OSC modules powered LED lamps. (e) J-V curve of the large-area OSC modules [59] (color online).

  • Figure 11

    (a) Chemical structures of donor polymer PDOT, fullerene acceptor PC71BM and non-fullerene small molecule acceptor ITIC. (b) J-V curves and performance parameters of ternary polymer solar cells [62] (color online).

  • Figure 12

    (a) Chemical structures of donor polymers PBTA-Si and PtzBI-Si and polymer acceptor N2200. (b) UV-vis absorption and (c) energy level alignments for neat films. (d) J-V characteristics for the thick-film all-polymer solar cells based on PBTA-Si:N2200 (2:1, wt%:wt%, device A), PTzBI-Si:N2200 (2:1, wt%:wt%, device B), and PBTA-Si:PTzBI-Si:N2200 (1:1:1, wt%:wt%:wt%, device C). (e) J-V curves for ternary all-polymer solar cells with various active layer thicknesses [63] (color online).

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