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Issue 3, 2018
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How to determine optical gaps and voltage losses in organic photovoltaic materials

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Abstract

The best performing organic solar cells (OSC) efficiently absorb photons and convert them to free charge carriers, which are subsequently collected at the electrodes. However, the energy lost in this process is much larger than for inorganic and perovskite solar cells, currently limiting the power conversion efficiency of OSCs to values slightly below 14%. To quantify energy losses, the open-circuit voltage of the solar cell is often compared to its optical gap. The latter is, however, not obvious to determine for organic materials which have broad absorption and emission bands, and is often done erroneously. Nevertheless, a deeper understanding of the energy loss mechanisms depends crucially on an accurate determination of the energies of the excited states involved in the photo-conversion process. This perspective therefore aims to summarize how the optical gap can be precisely determined, and how it relates to energy losses in organic photovoltaic materials.

Graphical abstract: How to determine optical gaps and voltage losses in organic photovoltaic materials

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Article information


Submitted
15 Dec 2017
Accepted
02 Feb 2018
First published
02 Feb 2018

Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2018,2, 538-544
Article type
Perspective

How to determine optical gaps and voltage losses in organic photovoltaic materials

K. Vandewal, J. Benduhn and V. C. Nikolis, Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2018, 2, 538
DOI: 10.1039/C7SE00601B

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