In an aim to harvest UV-near-visible (360-440 nm) photons as well as to increase the morphology in the bulk heterojunction solar cells, we report herein the strategic design, synthesis, and characterization of a novel excited-state intramolecular proton-transfer dye, 3-hydroxy-2-(5-(5-(5-(3-hydroxy-4-oxo-4H- chromen-2-yl)thiophen-2-yl)thiophen-2-yl)thiophen-2-yl)-4H-chromen-4-one (FT), which bears two key functional groups, namely 3-hydroxychromone chromophore and trithiophene backbone and is then exploited into the blends of regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (RR-P3HT) and phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). FT acts as an excellent UV-near visible absorber, which then undergoes excited-state intramolecular proton transfer, giving rise to an orange-red proton-transfer emission that was reabsorbed by P3HT via a Förster type of energy transfer. Introduction of FT to P3HT/PCBM blend films also improves the morphology of phase separated structure, in particular, enhances the interaction of P3HT chains and the hole mobility. In this work, under the optimized condition of P3HT: PCBM:FT of 15:9:2 in weight ratio, the best performance of the device B-FT2 revealed consistent enhancements in the efficiency (η) 4.28% and short-circuit current (Jsc) 12.53 mAcm-2, which are higher than that (3.68% and 10.28 mAcm -2) of the best performance of the control device B (P3HT:PCBM 15:9 in weight ratio) by 16 and 22%, respectively.
- excited-state intramolecular proton transfer
- solar cell