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Non-fullerene acceptor photostability and its impact on organic solar cell lifetime

Clarke, Andrew J., Luke, Joel, Meitzner, Rico, Wu, Jiaying, Wang, Yuming, Lee, Harrison K.H., Speller, Emily M., Bristow, Helen, Cha, Hyojung, Newman, Michael J., Hooper, Katherine, Evans, Alex, Gao, Feng, Hoppe, Harald, McCulloch, Iain, Schubert, Ulrich S., Watson, Trystan M., Durrant, James R., Tsoi, Wing C., Kim, Ji-Seon and Li, Zhe 2021. Non-fullerene acceptor photostability and its impact on organic solar cell lifetime. Cell Reports Physical Science 2 (7) , 100498. 10.1016/j.xcrp.2021.100498

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The development of non-fullerene acceptors (NFAs) has facilitated the realization of efficient organic solar cells (OSCs) with minimal burn-in losses and excellent long-term stability. However, the role of NFA molecular structures on device stability remains unclear, limiting commercialization of NFA-based OSCs. Herein, the photostability of 10 OSC devices, fabricated with various NFAs (O-IDTBR, EH-IDTBR, ITIC, and ITIC-M) blended with donor polymers (PTB7-Th, PffBT4T-2OD, and PBDB-T), is investigated. O-IDTBR and EH-IDTBR form highly stable devices with all three polymers, whereas ITIC and ITIC-M devices suffer from burn-in losses and long-term degradation. Conformational instability is found to be responsible for the poor photostability of ITIC and ITIC-M, resulting in poor device stability. Twisting and potential breakage of the chemical bond that links the end group to the main backbone of ITIC and ITIC-M molecules causes undesirable conformational changes. Potential strategies to overcome such detrimental photo-induced conformational changes in NFAs are proposed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Physics and Astronomy
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2666-3864
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 August 2021
Date of Acceptance: 17 June 2021
Last Modified: 14 May 2023 23:24

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