Boosting Up Performance of Inverted Photovoltaic Cells from Bis(alkylthien-2-yl)dithieno[2,3‑d:2′,3′‑d′]benzo[1,2‑b:4′,5′‑b′]di thiophene-Based Copolymers by Advantageous Vertical Phase Separation

The photovoltaic cells (PVCs) from conjugated copolymers of PDTBDT-BT and PDTBDT-FBT with 5,10-bis­(4,5-didecylthien-2-yl)­dithieno­[2,3-d:2′,3′-d′]­benzo­[1,2-b:4,5-b′]­dithiophene as electron donor moieties and benzo­thiadiazole and/or 5,6-difluorobenzo­thiadiazole as electron acceptor moieties are optimized by employing alcohol-soluble PFN (poly­(9,9-bis­(3′-(N,N-dimethyl­amino)­propyl)-2,7-fluorene)-alt-2,7-(9,9-dioctyl­fluorene)) as cathode modification interlayer. The power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of inverted PVCs (i-PVCs) from PDTBDT-BT and PDTBDT-FBT with devices configuration as ITO/PFN/active layer/MoO3/Ag are increased from 4.97% to 8.54% and 5.92% to 8.74%, in contrast to those for the regular PVCs (r-PVCs) with devices configuration as ITO/PEDOT:PSS/active layer/Ca/Al under 100 mW/cm2 AM 1.5 illumination. The optical modeling calculations and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) investigations reveal that the r-PVCs and i-PVCs from the copolymers exhibit similar light harvesting characteristics, and the enhancements of the PCEs of the i-PVCs from the copolymers are mainly contributed to the favorable vertical phase separation as the strongly polymer-enriched top surface layers and slightly PC71BM (phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester)-enriched bottom surface layers are correspondingly connected to the anodes and cathodes of the i-PVCs, while they are opposite in the r-PVCs. As we known, it is the first time to experimentally verify that the i-PVCs with alcohol-soluble conjugated polymers cathode modification layers enjoy favorable vertical phase separation.