Synthesis and molecular engineering of novel conjugated polymers with zero torsional defect for organic solar cells Grant uri icon


  • Current energy related materials and devices are plagued with issues of poor performance and many are known to be extremely damaging to the environment. Torsional defects play a fundamental role in lowering the performance of polymer electronics. Such defects in conjugated polymers, however, can be eliminated by the construction of fused ring between the repeating units. Compared to their counterparts with torsional disorders, the conjugated ladder polymers with zero-torsional defect promise numerous advantages in various material properties. These properties include strong mechanical strength, low optical band gap, low reorganization and activation energy for charge transport. In principle, they represent an ideal candidate as the active materials for organic solar cells. Their poor solubility, however, is well recognized as one of the most formidable challenges in the synthesis and process of such ladder polymers for practical applications. The overall aim of the project is to demonstrate important breakthroughs in organic solar cell performance through new molecular design concepts, molecular engineering approaches, device architectures and fabrication techniques, culminating in the pervasive use of this technology. The primary objectives are to develop novel functional ambipolar organic semiconductors capable of meeting the requirements for the future generation of organic electronic device applications. We propose to demonstrate the solubility enhancement of conjugated polymers by polyisobutene side-chains and integrate such side-chains into specifically designed new ladder polymers. Once the synthesis and solution processing of these polymers are achieved, we will study the cleavage of the PIB side-chains in the thin-film state to tailor the materials for high-performance optoelectronic devices. The successful synthesis and side-chain engineering will eventually lead to improved donor or acceptor active materials for organic solar cells

date/time interval

  • 2015 - 2018