Non-fullerene acceptor photostability and its impact on organic solar cell lifetime

Andrew J. Clarke, Joel Luke, Rico Meitzner, Jiaying Wu, Yuming Wang, Harrison K.H. Lee, Emily M. Speller, Helen Bristow, Hyojung Cha, Michael J. Newman, Katherine Hooper, Alex Evans, Feng Gao, Harald Hoppe, Iain McCulloch, Ulrich S. Schubert, Trystan M. Watson, James R. Durrant, Wing C. Tsoi, Ji Seon KimZhe Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The development of non-fullerene acceptors (NFAs) has facilitated the realization of efficient organic solar cells (OSCs) with minimal burn-in losses and excellent long-term stability. However, the role of NFA molecular structures on device stability remains unclear, limiting commercialization of NFA-based OSCs. Herein, the photostability of 10 OSC devices, fabricated with various NFAs (O-IDTBR, EH-IDTBR, ITIC, and ITIC-M) blended with donor polymers (PTB7-Th, PffBT4T-2OD, and PBDB-T), is investigated. O-IDTBR and EH-IDTBR form highly stable devices with all three polymers, whereas ITIC and ITIC-M devices suffer from burn-in losses and long-term degradation. Conformational instability is found to be responsible for the poor photostability of ITIC and ITIC-M, resulting in poor device stability. Twisting and potential breakage of the chemical bond that links the end group to the main backbone of ITIC and ITIC-M molecules causes undesirable conformational changes. Potential strategies to overcome such detrimental photo-induced conformational changes in NFAs are proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100498
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 21 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Energy
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • IDTBR stability
  • ITIC stability
  • molecular conformation
  • non-fullerene acceptors
  • OPV stability
  • organic photovoltaics
  • photostability
  • Raman spectroscopy


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