Role of Nonfullerene Acceptor Impurities and Purification on the Efficiency and Stability of Organic Photovoltaics

Tanya Kumari*, Mehrad Ahmadpour, Pierre Olivier Morin, Mariam Ahmad, Rovshen Atajanov, Cecilie Rindom, Jiyeon Oh, Mohammed Amir Yakoob, Jean Sébastien Bergeron, François Grenier, Changduk Yang, Mogens Brøndsted Nielsen, Vida Turkovic, Morten Madsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The introduction of nonfullerene acceptors (NFAs) has pushed the power conversion efficiency and organic photovoltaics (OPV) device stability to new standards. In this aspect, removal of trace impurities from one purification stage to the next is frequently stressed throughout the synthesis of photoactive OPV materials and NFAs to obtain the highest-purity material. However, detailed studies of the effect of purification on device performance are less reported. Herein, the role of NFA trace impurities on the optoelectronic characteristics and lifetime of resulting OPV devices is studied. The optimization of PBDB-T:ITIC-X devices, with various ITIC purity levels (X), has been thoroughly studied via a combination of photophysical, chemical, morphological, electrical, and optical characterization techniques, to shine light on the role of these impurities on device performance and lifetime. The findings suggest that, even in materials with larger concentrations of trace impurities, careful tuning can produce high efficiencies. Interestingly, the less-pure materials lead to longer device lifetimes along with an enhancement in accumulative power generation by a factor 3, compared to the purest ITIC-based devices. This demonstrates that selecting a material with the highest purity may not always be the best option for NFA OPV and that any positive effects of NFA purification must be carefully considered in light of both the device efficiency and stability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2300047
JournalSolar RRL
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Solar RRL published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • accumulative power generation
  • lifetime
  • nonfullerene acceptors
  • organic photovoltaics
  • trace impurities


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