Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Novel conjugated alternating copolymer based on 2, 7-carbazole and 2, 1, 3-benzoselenadiazole

Xiong Gong, The University of Akron


A novel conjugated alternating copolymer (PCzDBSe) based on N-9′-heptadecanyl-2,7-carbazole and 5,5-(4′,7′-di-2-thienyl-2′,1′,3′-benzoselenadiazole) was synthesized by Suzuki polycondensation. The polymer reveals excellent thermal stabilities with the decomposition temperature (5% weight loss) of 390 °C and the glass-transition temperature of 140 °C. The absorption peaks of the polymer are located at 412 and 626 nm, respectively, while the absorption onset is extended to 716 nm, which is 56 nm red-shifted as compared with its analogue, poly[N-9′-heptadecanyl-2,7-carbazole-alt-5,5-(4′,7′-di-2-thienyl-2′,1′,3′-benzothiadiazole)] (PCDTBT). The HOMO and LUMO levels of the polymer were estimated to be −5.28 and −3.55 eV, respectively, with an optical bandgap of 1.73 eV. The hole mobility of PCzDBSe as deduced from a solution-processed organic field effect transistor (OFET) was found to be 3.9 × 10−4 cm2 V−1 s−1. Polymer solar cells (PSCs) based on the blends of PCzDBSe and [6,6]-phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) with a weight ratio of 1:4 were fabricated. Under AM 1.5 (AM, air mass), 100 mW cm−2 illumination, the devices were found to have an open-circuit (Voc) of 0.75 V, a short-circuit current density (Jsc) of 7.23 mA cm−2, a fill factor (FF) of 45% and a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 2.58%. The primary results indicate that 5,5-(4′,7′-di-2-thienyl-2′,1′,3′-benzoselenadiazole) is a promising unit for low bandgap polymer for polymer solar cells.