Delocalization of exciton and electron wavefunction in non-fullerene acceptor molecules enables efficient organic solar cells

GC Zhang and XK Chen and JY Xiao and PCY Chow and MR Ren and G Kupgan and XC Jiao and CCS Chan and XY Du and RX Xia and ZM Chen and J Yuan and YQ Zhang and SF Zhang and YD Liu and YP Zou and H Yan and KS Wong and V Coropceanu and N Li and CJ Brabec and JL Bredas and HL Yip and Y Cao, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 11, 3943 (2020).

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17867-1

A major challenge for organic solar cell (OSC) research is how to minimize the tradeoff between voltage loss and charge generation. In early 2019, we reported a non-fullerene acceptor (named Y6) that can simultaneously achieve high external quantum efficiency and low voltage loss for OSC. Here, we use a combination of experimental and theoretical modeling to reveal the structure-property-performance relationships of this state-of-the-art OSC system. We find that the distinctive -pi molecular packing of Y6 not only exists in molecular single crystals but also in thin films. Importantly, such molecular packing leads to (i) the formation of delocalized and emissive excitons that enable small non- radiative voltage loss, and (ii) delocalization of electron wavefunctions at donor/acceptor interfaces that significantly reduces the Coulomb attraction between interfacial electron-hole pairs. These properties are critical in enabling highly efficient charge generation in OSC systems with negligible donor-acceptor energy offset. p id=Par Y6, as a non-fullerene acceptor for organic solar cells, has attracted intensive attention because of the low voltage loss and high charge generation efficiency. Here, Zhang et al. find that the delocalization of exciton and electron wavefunction due to strong pi-pi packing of Y6 is the key for the high performance.

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