Tuning the optical and electrochemical properties of conjugated all-thiophene dendrimers via core functionalization with a benzothiadiazole unit

Wei Gao, Junkai Wang, Qun Luo, Yi Lin, Yuchao Ma, Junyan Dou, Hongwei Tan*, Chang Qi Ma, Zheng Cui

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Three-dimensional (3D) π-conjugated dendrimers are a new class of structurally defined macromolecules for use in organic electronics. Herein, a new family of dendritic oligothiophenes (DOT-c-BTs) up to the 2nd generation with benzothiadiazole (BT) groups at the core have been synthesized by a precise convergent approach. The well-defined chemical structures and the monodispersed nature of these DOT-c-BTs were fully confirmed by NMR spectroscopy, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), high-resolution mass spectrometry (HR MS), and gel-permeation chromatography (GPC) measurements. The optical and electrochemical properties were investigated by UV-vis absorption, and cyclic voltammetry. The insertion of electron-deficient benzothiadiazole (BT) groups into the core of the conjugated dendritic oligothiophenes resulted in a large redshift compared to all-thiophene dendrimers. Cyclic voltammetry measurements showed one reversible reduction process and multiple oxidation waves for these functionalized dendritic oligothiophenes, due to the reduction of the BT core and the oxidation of different π-conjugated chains, respectively. Applications of DOT-c-BTs in organic solar cells as the electron donor were presented. However, unfavorable nanophase separation in the blended film led to poor device performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1606-1616
Number of pages11
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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