Donor-acceptor (D-A) copolymers typically show two absorption peaks in the visible region, flanking a valley region of limited absorptivity. One strategy for more panchromatic light harvesting is to incorporate side-groups orthogonal to the polymer backbone, which enable 2D π conjugation and can give rise to additional absorption peaks. Here we design and synthesize two D-A polymers which both carry a fluorinated quinoxaline acceptor unit, but while P1 includes a benzodithiophene donor moiety with thiophene side-groups (2D-BDT), the P2 polymer lacks 2D conjugation in its simpler pentathiophene donor segment. The P1 polymer consequently shows an atypical absorption profile with more panchromatic absorption with no apparent valley in the spectrum. In order to understand the structure-electronic relations, the optical and electrochemical properties were predicted using a previously developed computational approach. The predicted optical properties show very good agreement with the experimental results. Solar cells made from P1 show a short-circuit current more than twice as large as P2, attributed to its enhanced spectral coverage. However, poor fill factors limit the preliminary power conversion efficiencies to 3.3 % for P1 and 1.0 % for P2 as blended with PCBM in a 1 : 1.5 (w/w) ratio.
- computational chemistry
- structure-activity relationships
- UV/Vis spectroscopy