Five solution processable isoindigo-based donor-acceptor-donor (D-A-D) small molecules with different electron donating strengths have been designed and synthesized. The variation in the electron donating strength of the donor group strongly affected the optical, thermal, electrochemical and photovoltaic device performances of the isoindigo organic materials. The highest power conversion efficiency of ~3.2% was achieved in the bulk heterojunction photovoltaic device consisting of ID3T as the donor and PC70BM as the acceptor. This work demonstrates the potential of isoindigo moieties as electron-deficient units and presents guidelines for the synthesis of D-A-D small molecules for producing highly efficient, solution-processed organic photovoltaic devices.
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