A significant fraction of the cost of solar panels comes from the photoactive materials and sophisticated, energy-intensive processing technologies. Recently, it has been shown that the inorganic components can be replaced by semiconducting polymers capable of achieving reasonably high power conversion efficiencies. These polymers are inexpensive to synthesize and can be solution-processed in a roll-to-roll fashion with high throughput. Inherently poor polymer properties, such as low exciton diffusion lengths and low mobilities, can be overcome by nanoscale morphology. We discuss polymer-based solar cells, paying particular attention to device design and potential improvements.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(07)70276-6