Three-Dimensional Spirothienoquinoline-Based Small Molecules for Organic Photovoltaic and Organic Resistive Memory Applications

Panpan Li, Chin Yiu Chan, Shiu Lun Lai, Hing Chan, Ming Yi Leung, Eugene Yau Hin Hong, Jingwen Li, Hongbin Wu, Mei Yee Chan, Vivian Wing Wah Yam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A new electron-rich spirothienoquinoline unit, tBuSAF-Th, has been developed via incorporation of a thienyl unit instead of a phenyl unit into the six-membered ring of the spiroacridine (SAF) and utilized for the first time as a building block for constructing small-molecule electron donors in organic solar cells (OSCs) and as active layers in organic resistive memory devices. The resulting three-dimensional spirothienoquinoline-containing 1-4 exhibit high-lying highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) energy levels. By the introduction of electron-deficient benzochalcogenodiazole linkers, with the chalcogen atoms being varied from O to S and Se, a progressively lower lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) energy level has been achieved while keeping the HOMO energy levels similar. This strategy has allowed an enhanced light-harvesting ability without compromising open-circuit voltage (Voc) in vacuum-deposited bulk heterojunction OSCs using 1-4 as donors and C70 as the acceptor. Good photovoltaic performances with power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of up to 3.86% and high short-circuit current densities (Jsc) of up to 10.84 mA cm-2 have been achieved. In addition, organic resistive memory devices fabricated with these donor-acceptor small molecules exhibit binary logic memory behaviors with long retention times and high on/off current ratios. This work indicates that the spirothienoquinoline moiety is a potential building block for constructing multifunctional organic electronic materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11865-11875
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 11 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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