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Issue 1, 2006
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Morphology of polymer/fullerene bulk heterojunction solar cells

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Abstract

Within the different organic photovoltaic devices the conjugated polymer/fullerene bulk heterojunction approach is one of the foci of today's research interest. These devices are highly dependent on the solid state nanoscale morphology of the two components (donor/acceptor) in the photoactive layer. The need for finely phase separated polymerfullerene blends is expressed by the limited exciton diffusion length present in organic semiconductors. Typical distances that these photo-excitations can travel within a pristine material are around 10–20 nm. In an efficient bulk heterojunction the scale of phase separation is therefore closely related to the respective exciton diffusion lengths of the two materials involved. Once the excitons reach the donor/acceptor interface, the photoinduced charge transfer results in the charge separation. After the charges have been separated they require percolated pathways to the respective charge extracting electrodes in order to supply an external direct current. Thus also an effective charge transport relies on the development of a suitable nanomorphology i.e. bicontinuous interpenetrating phase structures within these blend films. The present feature article combines and summarizes the experimental findings on this nanomorphology–efficiency relationship.

Graphical abstract: Morphology of polymer/fullerene bulk heterojunction solar cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Jul 2005, accepted on 02 Nov 2005 and first published on 28 Nov 2005


Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/B510618B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2006,16, 45-61
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    Morphology of polymer/fullerene bulk heterojunction solar cells

    H. Hoppe and N. S. Sariciftci, J. Mater. Chem., 2006, 16, 45
    DOI: 10.1039/B510618B

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