This report will detail our research into OSCs using PDI dimers as the electron acceptors and active layer fabrication using non-halogenated solvents. PTB7-Th was chosen as the donor material, owing to its good solubility in nonhalogenated solvents, complementary light absorption and suitable energy level alignment for pairing with our PDI acceptors. Two different PDI dimers having linear and branched alkyl chains are studied.
We have previously shown that PTB7-Th:PDI based solar cells with active layers processed from 2Me-THF, o-xylene, or 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene could reach PCEs from 5-6%. The processing solvent can be extended to toluene with solar cells exhibiting PCEs of 5%. Thus, this work highlights the many processing options for the PTB7-Th / N-annulated PDI dimer active layer combination.