A pinboard by
Jack Ly

Graduate Student, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Design of cheaper-alternative small molecule acceptors for organic solar cells.

Power conversion efficiency (PCE) has surpassed 10% for single junction organic solar cells (OSCs) mainly through the design and synthesis of novel donor materials, the optimization of film morphology and the evolution of the devices. However, the development of novel acceptor materials is relatively sluggish compared with the donor compounds. Nowadays, fullerene derivatives, such as PC61BM and PC71BM, are still the dominant acceptors due to their superior charge transporting properties. Unfortunately, these two acceptors suffer from some intrinsic shortcomings such as limited absorption, difficult functionalization, and high production cost. Therefore, developing novel non-fullerene acceptors that can overcome the above-mentioned disadvantages is highly desirable. As a matter of fact, research on non-fullerene acceptors has made considerable progress in the last two years and a highest PCE of around 12% has been achieved.


Improving the Stability of Organic Semiconductors: Distortion Energy versus Aromaticity in Substituted Bistetracene

Abstract: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been widely explored as molecular semiconductors in organic electronic devices such as field-effect transistors or solar cells. However, their tendency to undergo photooxidation is a primary limitation to their practical applications. Bistetracene derivatives have recently been demonstrated to possess much larger photooxidation stability than the widely investigated pentacene and rubrene, while maintaining high charge-carrier mobilities. Here, using several levels of density functional theory, we identify the origin of the increased stability of bistetracene with respect to molecular oxygen by systematically investigating the [4 + 2] cycloaddition (Diels–Alder) photooxidation reaction mechanism. Importantly, our computational results indicate that endoperoxide formation in bis(2-(trimethylsilyl)ethynyl) bistetracene (BT) occurs not on the ring with least aromaticity, but rather on the ring with smallest distortion energy. This feature was subsequently confirmed by experimental NMR analyses. The oxidation activation barriers of bistetracene, pentacene, and rubrene are found to be 17.7, 13.6, and 14.4 kcal/mol, respectively, in agreement with the observed order of stability of these molecules with respect to oxidation reactions in solution. In the cases of BT and pentacene, the rates of electron transfer to create charged species (PAH+ and O2–) are at least two orders of magnitude lower than that of the charge recombination process (back to PAH and O2); for rubrene, both of these processes are calculated to be of the same order of magnitude, in agreement with experimental electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy observations.

Pub.: 15 Nov '16, Pinned: 27 Jun '17