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Approaches to Mechanically Robust and Sustainable Polymers for Organic Solar Cells

CP 114
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s):
Dr. Barry Thompson

1Conjugated polymers have been the cornerstone of organic electronics, with applications in such diverse areas as photovoltaics, field effect transistors, batteries, and bioelectronics. However, a number of challenges are still apparent, including, scalability, sustainability, and applicability under a broad range of real-world conditions. Our efforts have focused on novel, simplified polymer architectures, scalable synthetic methods and applications in solar cells and batteries. In this talk, a primary focus will be on the design of novel semiconducting polymers for intrinsically stretchable solar cells (IS-PSCs). We have designed novel side-chain functionalized conjugated polymers bearing hydrogen-bonding groups, such as thymine. Such units capable of inducing strong intermolecular hydrogen-bonding leading to polymer assembly and highly efficient and mechanically robust PSCs. Importantly, such polymers have enabled IS-PSCs showing an unprecedented combination of PCE (13.7%) and ultrahigh mechanical durability (maintaining 80% of initial PCE after 43% strain). Additionally, efforts toward the development of novel non-conjugated electroactive polymers will be introduced where we focus on elucidating structure-function relationships and synthetic pathways for this promising materials class.