Recent developments in solution processable single junction polymer solar cells have led to a significant improvement in power conversion efficiencies from 5% to beyond 9%. While much of the initial efficiency improvements were driven through judicious design of donor polymers, it is the engineering of device architectures through the incorporation of inorganic nanostructures and better processing that has continued the efficiency gains. Inorganic nano-components such as carbon nanotubes, graphene and its derivatives, metal nanoparticles and metal oxides have played a central role in improving device performance and longevity beyond those achieved by conventional 3G polymer solar cells. The present work aims to summarise the diverse roles played by the nanosystems and features in state of the art next generation (4G) polymer solar cells. The challenges associated with the engineering of such devices for future deployment are also discussed.
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