The efficiency of solar cells made from a conjugated polymer blended with a fullerene derivative has risen from around 1 % to over 9 % in the last ten years, making organic photovoltaic technology a viable contender for commercialization. The efficiency increases have resulted from the development of new materials with lower optical gaps, new polymer:fullerene combinations with higher charge separated state energies, and new approaches to control the blend microstructure, all driven by a qualitative understanding of the principles governing organic solar cell operation. In parallel, a device physics framework has been developed that enables the rational design of device structures and materials for improved organic photovoltaic devices. We review developments in both materials science and device physics for organic photovoltaics.

Read full text on ScienceDirect

DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(11)70210-3