At present, novel furanyl-substituted anthracene derivatives; namely 9,10-di(furan-2-yl)anthracene (DFA), 5,5'-(anthracene-9,10-diyl)bis(furan-2-carbaldehyde) (DAFA) and 2,2'-((5,5'-(anthracene-9,10-diyl)bis(furan-5,2-diyl))bis(methanylylidene))dimalononitrile (DCNFA) were designed and synthesized successfully by employing Stile Cross-Coupling, Vilsmeier-Haack and Knoevenagel condensation reactions, respectively. This methodology provides a practical new route for the synthesis of furanyl-substituted anthracene derivatives bearing strong electron-withdrawing groups. The electrochemical and electro-optical properties of these novel furanyl-substituted anthracene derivatives were also examined with strong acceptor-pi-donor-pi-acceptor interactions. Furthermore, Highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO), Lowest Unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO), and band gap (Eg) values were investigated by using spectroscopic methods. Electrochemical and electro-optical properties were calculated and compared to DFA, DAFA and DCNFA. Eg was found as 2.85, 2.71, and 2.33 eV, respectively. Consequently, Organic Solar Cells (OSC) were fabricated to investigate their solar cell performances. The strong electron withdrawing groups did not increase the solar cell performance of furanyl-anthracenes. Surprisingly, DFA was found to exhibit the best OSCs performance (Efficiency = 3.36). As a result, one could note that these novel furanyl-substituted anthracene derivatives are good candidate for the applications of the OSCs. Our results might help in the development of new materials with important electrochemical functions by giving the advantage of designing and further derivatization of new generation small organic molecules for photovoltaic device applications. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.