Issue 8, 2018

Structural determinants in the bulk heterojunction


Photovoltaics is one of the key areas in renewable energy research with remarkable progress made every year. Here we consider the case of a photoactive material and study its structural composition and the resulting consequences for the fundamental processes driving solar energy conversion. A multiscale approach is used to characterize essential molecular properties of the light-absorbing layer. A selection of bulk-representative pairs of donor/acceptor molecules is extracted from the molecular dynamics simulation of the bulk heterojunction and analyzed at increasing levels of detail. Significantly increased ground state energies together with an array of additional structural characteristics are identified that all point towards an auxiliary role of the material's structural organization in mediating charge-transfer and -separation. Mechanistic studies of the type presented here can provide important insights into fundamental principles governing solar energy conversion in next-generation photovoltaic devices.

Graphical abstract: Structural determinants in the bulk heterojunction

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Article information

Article type
17 Dec 2017
30 Jan 2018
First published
30 Jan 2018
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018,20, 5708-5720

Structural determinants in the bulk heterojunction

A. Acocella, S. Höfinger, E. Haunschmid, S. C. Pop, T. Narumi, K. Yasuoka, M. Yasui and F. Zerbetto, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, 20, 5708 DOI: 10.1039/C7CP08435H

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