Nature of the Binding Interactions between Conjugated Polymer Chains and Fullerenes in Bulk Heterojunction Organic Solar Cells

Mahesh Kumar Ravva, Tonghui Wang, Jean-Luc Bredas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Blends of π-conjugated polymers and fullerene derivatives are ubiquitous as the active layers of organic solar cells. However, a detailed understanding of the weak noncovalent interactions at the molecular level between the polymer chains and fullerenes is still lacking and could help in the design of more efficient photoactive layers. Here, using a combination of long-range corrected density functional theory calculations and molecular dynamic simulations, we report a thorough characterization of the nature of binding between fullerenes (C60 and PC61BM) and poly(benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene–thieno[3,4-c]pyrrole-4,6-dione) (PBDTTPD) chains. We illustrate the variations in binding strength when the fullerenes dock on the electron-rich vs electron-poor units of the polymer as well as the importance of the role played by the polymer and fullerene side chains and the orientations of the PC61BM molecules with respect to the polymer backbones.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8181-8189
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry of Materials
Volume28
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 7 2016

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