Solution-processable low-molecular weight extended arylacetylenes: versatile p-type semiconductors for field-effect transistors and bulk heterojunction solar cells

Fabio Silvestri, Assunta Marrocchi, Mirko Seri, Choongik Kim, Tobin J Marks, Antonio Facchetti, Aldo Taticchi

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We report the synthesis and characterization of a series of five extended arylacetylenes, 9,10-bis-{[m,p-bis(hexyloxy)phenyl]ethynyl}-anthracene (A-P6t, 1), 9,10-bis-[(p-{[m,p-bis(hexyloxy) phenyl]ethynyl}phenyl)ethynyl]-anthracene (PA-P6t, 2), 4,7-bis-{[m,p-bis(hexyloxy)phenyl]ethynyl}-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole (BTZ-P6t, 5), 4,7-bis(5-{[m,p-bis(hexyloxy)phenyl]ethynyl}thien-2-yl)-2,1,3- benzothiadiazole (TBTZ-P6t, 6), and 7,7′-({[m,p-bis(hexyloxy)phenyl] ethynyl}-2,1,3-benzothiadiazol-4,4′-ethynyl)-2,5-thiophene (BTZT-P6t, 7), and two arylvinylenes, 9,10-bis-{(E)-[m,p-bis(hexyloxy)phenyl]vinyl}-anthracene (A-P6d, 3), 9,10-bis-[(E)-(p-{(E)-[m,p-bis(hexyloxy)phenyl]vinyl}phenyl)vinyl]- anthracene (PA-P6d, 4). Trends in optical absorption spectra and electrochemical redox processes are first described. Next, the thin-film microstructures and morphologies of films deposited from solution under various conditions are investigated, and organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) and bulk heterojunction photovoltaic (OPV) cells fabricated. We find that substituting acetylenic for olefinic linkers on the molecular cores significantly enhances device performance. OFET measurements reveal that all seven of the semiconductors are FET-active and, depending on the backbone architecture, the arylacetylenes exhibit good p-type mobilities (- up to ∼0.1 cm2 V-1 s-1) when optimum film microstructural order is achieved. OPV cells using [6,6]-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) as the electron acceptor exhibit power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) up to 1.3% under a simulated AM 1.5 solar irradiation of 100 mW/cm2. These results demonstrate that arylacetylenes are promising hole-transport materials for p-channel OFETs and promising donors for organic solar cells applications. A direct correlation between OFET arylacetylene hole mobility and OPV performance is identified and analyzed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6108-6123
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - May 5 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Catalysis
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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