The critical role of the donor polymer in the stability of high- performance non-fullerene acceptor organic solar cells

YW Wang and J Luke and A Privitera and N Rolland and C Labanti and G Londi and V Lemaur and DTW Toolan and AJ Sneyd and S Jeong and DP Qian and Y Olivier and L Sorace and JS Kim and D Beljonne and Z Li and AJ Gillett, JOULE, 7, 810-829 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2023.03.002

The poor operational stability of non-fullerene electron acceptor (NFA) organic solar cells (OSCs) currently limits their commercial application. While previous studies have primarily focused on the degradation of the NFA component, we also consider here the electron donor material. We examine the stability of three represen-tative donor polymers, PM6, D18, and PTQ10, paired with the bench-mark NFA, Y6. After light soaking PM6 and D18 in air, we find an enhanced conversion of singlet excitons into trapped interchain polaron pairs on sub-100 femtosecond timescales. This process out -competes electron transfer to Y6, significantly reducing the charge generation yield. However, this pathway is absent in PTQ10. We iden-tify twisting in the benzo1,2-b:4,5-b0dithiophene (BDT)-thiophene motif shared by PM6 and D18 as the cause. By contrast, PTQ10 does not contain this structural motif and has improved stability. Thus, we show that the donor polymer can be a weak link for OSC sta-bility, which must be addressed collectively with the NFA.

Return to Publications page