Dendritic poly(3-hexylthiophene) star copolymer systems for next generation bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic cells
Yonkeu, Anne Lutgarde Djoumessi
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The continuous increase in energy consumption and decrease in fossil fuels reserves are a primary concern worldwide; especially for South Africa. Therefore, there is an urgent need for alternative energy resources that will be sustainable, and environmentally friendly in order to tackle the ecological degradation generated by the use of fossil fuels. Among many energy ‘niches’, solar energy appears to be one of the most promising and reliable for the African continent because of the constant availability of sun light. Organic conjugated polymers have been identified as suitable materials to ensure proper design and fabrication of flexible, easy to process and cost-effective solar cells. Their tendency to exhibit good semiconducting properties and their capability to absorb photons from the sunlight and convert it into electrical energy are important features that justify their use in organic photovoltaic cells. Many different polymers have been investigated as either electron donating or electron accepting materials. Among them, poly(3-hexylthiophene) is one of the best electron donor materials that have been used in organic photovoltaic cells. It is a good light absorber and its Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital (HOMO) energy level is suitable to allow electron transfer into an appropriate electron acceptor. On the other hand, the molecular ordering found in dendrimers attracted some interest in the field of photovoltaics as this feature can ensure a constant flow of charges. In this work, I hereby report for the first time, the chemical synthesis of a highly crystalline dendritic star copolymer generation 1 poly(propylene thiophenoimine)-co-poly(3-hexylthiophene) (G1PPT-co-P3HT) with high molecular weight and investigate its application as donating material in bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaics.