Strategy for Enhancing the Dielectric Constant of Organic Semiconductors Without Sacrificing Charge Carrier Mobility and Solubility

Solmaz Torabi*, Fatemeh Jahani, Ineke Van Severen, Catherine Kanimozhi, Satish Patil, Remco W. A. Havenith, Ryan C. Chiechi, Laurence Lutsen, Dirk J. M. Vanderzande, Thomas J. Cleij, Jan C. Hummelen, L. Jan Anton Koster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

139 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Current organic semiconductors for organic photovoltaics (OPV) have relative dielectric constants (relative permittivities, epsilon(r)) in the range of 2-4. As a consequence, Coulombically bound electron-hole pairs (excitons) are produced upon absorption of light, giving rise to limited power conversion efficiencies. We introduce a strategy to enhance epsilon(r) of well-known donors and acceptors without breaking conjugation, degrading charge carrier mobility or altering the transport gap. The ability of ethylene glycol (EG) repeating units to rapidly reorient their dipoles with the charge redistributions in the environment was proven via density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Fullerene derivatives functionalized with triethylene glycol side chains were studied for the enhancement of epsilon(r) together with poly(p-phenylene vinylene) and diketo-pyrrolopyrrole based polymers functionalized with similar side chains. The polymers showed a doubling of epsilon(r) with respect to their reference polymers in identical backbone. Fullerene derivatives presented enhancements up to 6 compared with phenyl-C-61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) as the reference. Importantly, the applied modifications did not affect the mobility of electrons and holes and provided excellent solubility in common organic solvents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-157
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2015

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