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Organic solar cells: An overview

  • Harald Hoppe (a1) and Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci (a1)

Organic solar cell research has developed during the past 30 years, but especially in the last decade it has attracted scientific and economic interest triggered by a rapid increase in power conversion efficiencies. This was achieved by the introduction of new materials, improved materials engineering, and more sophisticated device structures. Today, solar power conversion efficiencies in excess of 3% have been accomplished with several device concepts. Though efficiencies of these thin-film organicdevices have not yet reached those of their inorganic counterparts (η ≈ 10–20%); the perspective of cheap production (employing, e.g., roll-to-roll processes) drives the development of organic photovoltaic devices further in a dynamic way. The two competitive production techniques used today are either wet solution processing or dry thermal evaporation of the organic constituents. The field of organic solar cells profited well from the development of light-emitting diodes based on similar technologies, which have entered the market recently. We review here the current status of the field of organic solar cells and discuss different production technologies as well as study the important parameters to improve their performance.

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