Photoprecursor approach as an effective means for preparing multilayer organic semiconducting thin films by solution processes
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The vertical composition profile of active layer has a major effect on the performance of organic photovoltaic devices (OPVs). While stepwise deposition of different materials is a conceptually straightforward method for controlled preparation of multi-component active layers, it is practically challenging for solution processes because of dissolution of the lower layer. Herein, we overcome this difficulty by employing the photoprecursor approach, in which a soluble photoprecursor is solution-deposited then photoconverted in situ to a poorly soluble organic semiconductor. This approach enables solution-processing of the p-i-n triple-layer architecture that has been suggested to be effective in obtaining efficient OPVs. We show that, when 2,6-dithienylanthracene and a fullerene derivative PC71BM are used as donor and acceptor, respectively, the best p-i-n OPV affords a higher photovoltaic efficiency than the corresponding p-n device by 24% and bulk-heterojunction device by 67%. The photoprecursor approach is also applied to preparation of three-component p-i-n films containing another donor 2,6-bis(59-(2-ethylhexyl)-(2,29-bithiophen)-5-yl)anthracene in the i-layer to provide a nearly doubled efficiency as compared to the original two-component p-i-n system. These results indicate that the present approach can serve as an effective means for controlled preparation of well-performing multi-component active layers in OPVs and relatedorganic electronic devices.
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