Twisted A-D-A Type Acceptors with Thermally-Activated Delayed Crystallization Behavior for Efficient Nonfullerene Organic Solar Cells

Molecular aggregation and crystallization during film coating play a crucial role in the realization of high-performing organic photovoltaics. Strong intermolecular interactions and high solid-state crystallinity are beneficial for charge transport. However, fast crystallization during thin-film drying often limits the formation of the finely phase-separated morphology required for efficient charge generation. Herein, the authors show that twisted acceptor-donor-acceptor (A-D-A) type compounds, containing an indacenodithiophene (IDT) electron-rich core and two naphthalenediimide (NDI) electron-poor units, leads to formation of mostly amorphous phases in the as-cast film, which can be readily converted into more crystalline domains by means of thermal annealing. This design strategy solves the aforementioned conundrum, leading to an optimal morphology in terms of reduced donor/acceptor domain-separation sizes (ca. 13 nm) and increased packing order. Solar cells based on these acceptors with a PBDB-T polymer donor show a power conversion efficiency over 10% and stable morphology, which results from the combined properties of desirable excited-state dynamics, high charge mobility, and optimal aggregation/crystallization characteristics. These results demonstrate that the twisted A-D-A motif featuring thermally-induced crystallization behavior is indeed a promising alternative design approach toward more morphologically robust materials for efficient organic photovoltaics.

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [Twisted A‐D‐A Type Acceptors with Thermally‐Activated Delayed Crystallization Behavior for Efficient Nonfullerene Organic Solar Cells. Advanced Energy Materials 12, 18 p2103957 (2022)], which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions:



Work Title Twisted A-D-A Type Acceptors with Thermally-Activated Delayed Crystallization Behavior for Efficient Nonfullerene Organic Solar Cells
Open Access
  1. Yilei Wu
  2. Sebastian Schneider
  3. Yue Yuan
  4. Ryan M. Young
  5. Tommaso Francese
  6. Iram F. Mansoor
  7. Peter J. Dudenas
  8. Yusheng Lei
  9. Enrique D. Gomez
  10. Dean M. DeLongchamp
  11. Mark C. Lipke
  12. Giulia Galli
  13. Michael R. Wasielewski
  14. John B. Asbury
  15. Michael F. Toney
  16. Zhenan Bao
  1. Charge generation
  2. Charge transport
  3. Film morphology
  4. Molecular packing
  5. Nonfullerene acceptors
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Advanced Energy Materials
Publication Date March 20, 2022
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited January 30, 2023




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added IDT-NDI_MS_2022-01-27_highlighted.pdf
  • Added Creator Yilei Wu
  • Added Creator Sebastian Schneider
  • Added Creator Yue Yuan
  • Added Creator Ryan M. Young
  • Added Creator Tommaso Francese
  • Added Creator Iram F. Mansoor
  • Added Creator Peter J. Dudenas
  • Added Creator Yusheng Lei
  • Added Creator Enrique D. Gomez
  • Added Creator Dean M. DeLongchamp
  • Added Creator Mark C. Lipke
  • Added Creator Giulia Galli
  • Added Creator Michael R. Wasielewski
  • Added Creator John B. Asbury
  • Added Creator Michael F. Toney
  • Added Creator Zhenan Bao
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publication Date Show Changes
    • Charge generation, Charge transport , Film morphology, Molecular packing, Nonfullerene acceptors
    Publication Date
    • 2022-05-12
    • 2022-03-20
  • Updated