Recent Advances in the Synthesis of Electron Donor Conjugated Terpolymers for Solar Cell Applications

Desta Gedefaw, Xun Pan, Mats R. Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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The synthesis of donor (D)-acceptor (A) polymers using structurally elaborated monomers is an active research field. Some of the challenges with the use of alternating D-A polymers for photovoltaic applications are the relatively narrow absorption widths, the presence an absorption valleys in the visible region, unoptimized molecular energy levels and even lack of compatibility of the polymers with the common acceptors. The synthesis and characterization of polymers consisting of multiple chromophores (random and regular terpolymers) with complementing properties is currently gaining momentum in order to delicately optimize properties of polymers. A random terpolymer can either be of a system composed of one donor and two acceptors [(D-A1)-ran-(D-A2)] or a one acceptor and two donor segments [(D1-A)-ran-(D2-A)] incorporated in the polymer backbone. By varying the composition of the monomers in the feed of the polymerization reaction, the properties of the resulting terpolymers can be carefully optimized. Using this strategy, many materials with desired properties have been developed and power conversion efficiency (PCE) surpassing 14% in a single layer bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cell device have been reported. This review summarizes the most recent advances made in the development of electron donor terpolymers for organic photovoltaics (OPVs). The properties of the terpolymers are compared with their respective reference polymer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number280
Number of pages28
JournalFrontiers in Materials
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 Gedefaw, Pan and Andersson. This is an open-access article
distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).
The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the
original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original
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  • conjugated polymers
  • random terpolymers
  • regular terpolymers
  • solar cells
  • terpolymers


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